Russian daily Kommersant quoted police as saying the murder was a contract killing. Several hundred business executives a year are victims of contract killings in Moscow.
Outdoor advertising is the fastest-growing medium in Russia, totaling $275 million in 2001, up 67% from the year before. Mr. Kanevsky's Ator accounted for sales of $27 million.
"We are all shocked," said Vladimir Evstafiev, head of the Russian Association of Advertising Agencies. "Unlike other industries in Russia, such as banking, metallurgy and the oil and gas sectors, advertising [was considered] a peaceful market."
In the last attempted murder of a Russian advertising executive, back in the mid-1990s, the victim was just slightly wounded.