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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Video International Spins New Web

In a bid to get offline advertisers online, Video International has introduced the Internet advertising agency Click VI.

Unveiled last week, Click VI is a partnership between Video International Group; a group of unnamed Russian investors represented Thursday by Demyan Kudryavtsev, a one-time Boris Berezovsky spokesman and Cityline founder; and U.S. media investor Peter Gerwe.

Gerwe is the founder of StoryFirst Communications, which controls CTC television channel, but is involved in the project as an independent investor.

Video International Group general director Maxim Boiko declined to reveal the structure of new company ownership, but said total investment amounts to "several million dollars."

Last year, Video International and Gerwe launched a multi-service Internet advertising agency, iVI, which produces online ads and creates sites for client companies. ClickVI is iVI's sister company.

The company's CEO, Yelena Muravyova, said that when she began to develop Russia's radio ad market as Europa Plus commercial director in 1990, it was hard to convince people that radio advertising could be effective. She plans to use that expertise in convincing major advertisers, all of whom are Video International clients, that the Internet is a medium worth their interest.

"For the past several years, the vast majority of Internet advertising was supplied by Internet companies," Boiko said at the presentation. "Now, the acute task has been raised of attracting traditional, offline advertisers to this new medium."

Tatyana Shalygina, marketing and advertising director for eStart.ru, an Internet portal that is a sister company of The Moscow Times, said Thursday that Click VI is likely to offer a serious competition for other Internet advertising agencies such as IMHO.

"Video International does not want to lose this market [Internet] because it understands it will grow," Shalygina said. "They have an advantage in this market takeover because they have good access to offline advertisers."

Shalygina said that when the investment boom on the Russian Internet market abruptly ended last year, the number of Internet companies advertising decreased. Now agencies have to chase traditional advertisers, which are gradually getting accustomed to using the new medium.

Vladimir Yevstafiyev, president of the Russian Association of Advertising Agencies, said at the presentation that despite the drop of interest in the Internet, Click VI has broad prospects in exploring the possibilities of interactive advertising.

"I am convinced that when such people [as Video International and its partners] undertake the new business, success is guaranteed," he said.