Auto.ru gatecrashes rival-backed event

24 Jun 2016

Auto.ru, Russia’s leading auto vertical, cheekily gatecrashed a dealership event sponsored by rival auto classifieds in Moscow.

At the “Dealer of the Year” awards show in Moscow, organized by rival platform Avito Auto and several auto publications, Auto.ru put up banner ads and other marketing material that would, no doubt, have infuriated its competitors.

Avito is a Naspers brand and Auto.ru a Yandex brand.

The most blatant marketing ploy was the placement of an Auto.ru banner across the road from the event, reminding every visitor to the event of the Auto.ru brand. Additionally, Auto.ru organized a free wi-fi hotspot in the area that allowed event visitors to log in. Once logged in, the visitor was shown an Auto.ru video ad.

The auto vertical responded lightheartedly when asked about the prank, calling it “a bit of naughtiness”.

“Dealers are key partners in the auto classifieds business, and every company builds relationships with them. Since Avito takes part in the annual event, entry for Auto.ru is closed. For us, Moscow is ‘home territory’ and therefore important. So, an event of this size cannot be ignored,” said Auto.ru’s public spokesman.

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Pavel Marceux

Pavel Marceux joined AIM Group in 2014 as a writer focusing on the Russian market. Following his MA at Edinburgh University, he worked in a number of countries, including Turkey and Japan. Pavel has honed his skills and knowledge at several publishing houses and consumer markets research firms. He is an experienced markets analyst, researcher and editor, who values accuracy, professionalism and honesty in his work above all else. His specialist focus is technology, economics and consumer trends. Splitting his lifestyle largely between London and Moscow, Pavel functions on a truly international platform.