From Malaya Business Insight

FRIDAY MAY 14, 2010 PHILIPPINES

Outdoor advertisers fight over MRT

Outdoor ad firms Media Puzzle Inc. and Trackworks Group are in a tug-of-war over the lucrative advertising deal of the MRT 3 system.

In a statement, Media Puzzle Inc. said it is the rightful exclusive advertising manager agent of Metro Rail Transit Development Corp. (MRT Devco), owner of all rights and assets within all MRT 3 system.

Media Puzzle said this is despite the continued claims of previous agency, Trackworks, that it has exclusive rights to use and access advertising structures or billboards based on a contract they entered into with MRT in 1998.

MRT Devco chairman Robert John SobrepeƱa last month appointed Media Puzzle, Inc. as the exclusive advertising manager of all advertising rights of MRT Devco.

The contract includes marketing and selling advertising assets; billing and collecting all advertising revenues from contracts with advertisers; maintaining the advertising assets in the working condition in which they are found, and monitoring and administering the installation/placement/removal of all advertising materials; ensuring timely roll up and roll down of tarpaulins during typhoons affecting the advertising assets, among others.

Outdoor advertising has taken a new form of late, with rail system as an effective medium due to heavy people traffic of riders, inside and outside the stations. Officials did not give the value of the contract. Media Puzzle said MRT Devco terminated Trackworks’ contract in September last year after its failure to pay about P367 million worth of obligations as of Dec. 31, 2009.

Trackworks sought for an injunction with the Pasig regional trial court to prevent MRT Devco from terminating Trackworks and from appointing another party as the new concessionaire. However, in January 2010, Pasig RTC denied Trackworks’ requests for injunction.

Media Puzzle said there was no order or writ preventing MRT Devco from terminating or canceling or awarding the advertising rights to the public or any third party. - Irma Isip

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