This is no longer 55 million rubles that Sberbank allocated to the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK, an organization included in the list of NGOs performing the function of a foreign agent) and Alexei Navalny's Slava office, but one of the largest orders for advertising creative in Russia. International corporations spend similar amounts ($ 5-15 million) on videos, which are then ranked as the most expensive advertising videos.
In the summer of 2019, the American advertising agency Young & Rubicam (less known under the new name VMLY & R) received a contract for 750 million rubles from VTB.
The amount of the order from VTB is twice the average annual revenue of the Moscow bureau Young & Rubicam (300-400 million rubles, net profit of about 50 million rubles a year).
The contract published on the public procurement website lists the entire staff of the agency (these are 24 people), but there is no information about the fees of the performer, studio and the like. At the same time, it follows from the text that the agency will receive 150 million rubles directly for its work on generating concepts and materials for promoting the bank's digital services. And 600 million rubles have been allocated to pay for the services of third parties - subcontractors. The contract is for the period from 2019 to 2021.
VTB launched an advertising campaign in September 2020: such projects in large organizations are rarely done promptly, besides, the pandemic prevented. The fact that Young & Rubicam advertisers released the videos with Slepakov as a result is confirmed by the release on the VTB website and publications in the specialized media. The slogans “Reload your business with VTB!”, “Choose VTB!”, “We help with deeds” were invented, and Slepakov sings: “Now, at the request of VTB, I’ll tell you, my friend, how to save your small business in such a difficult time ...”
Sources in the advertising and show business industry told Octagon that, based on the amount and term of the VTB contract, Slepakov could earn about 70-80 million rubles on this project. However, the fee may be much higher, judging by the earlier experience of cooperation between VTB Group, Young & Rubicam and Slepakov.
In 2015, VTB's subsidiary bank Leto Bank ordered creative work from Y&R, but then the agency's ideas cost the bank only 11.6 million rubles. Slepakov's participation was formalized transparently: 16 million rubles were received at his expense for the song and the main layouts, plus 500 thousand for additional rights to the image in booklets about educational loans. Five years later, the price tag went up.
Semyon Slepakov's business successes happened clearly at the wrong time. The opposition, referring to the artist's participation in VTB advertising, accused the singer of working for the authorities.
According to complaints from the opposition, Slepakov's social media accounts were blocked (his Twitter account has already been blocked) after he ridiculed protesters at rallies in support of Navalny. Threats to the singer appeared in the comments: "Start looking back when you walk down the street, right now", "Burn on earth, not in hell", "Die from cancer", "You will die, and your family will die for your position." ...
“This is what the adherents of the beautiful Russia of the future write to me - a great liberal state in which democracy and pluralism of opinions will triumph, where there will be no censorship, and people will love and respect each other. I note that the level of discussion is extremely high, sound reasoning pleases, a benevolent attitude towards the opponent, in general, everything is as it should be in the civilized world, "wrote Slepakov himself and added that the verse about goodness, addressed to the supporters of Navalny, helped him" on himself feel all the benefits of liberal values ”.