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MRT Ads Battle : Firms ordered to stop ad activities at MRT-3

Firms ordered to stop ad activities at MRT-3

May 16, 2010, 2:57pm
From the Manila Bulletin

The Makati regional trial court (RTC) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) effectively preventing MRT Development Corporation (MRT Devco) and Media Puzzle Inc. (MPI) from conducting advertising activities at the MRT-3.

Makati RTC Judge Alberico Umali ordered last Friday the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), which operates the MRT-3, to refrain from issuing permits to MRT Devco and MPI.

Exclusive MRT advertising arm Trackworks filed for the TRO after individuals indentified with both MRT Devco and Media Puzzle Inc. caused the illegal dismantling and theft of advertising materials belonging to their clients.

Trackworks has already filed criminal charges against these individuals before the courts of Quezon City and Makati. The physical structures on which advertising materials on the MRT are placed are the private property of Trackworks.

“This TRO is a welcome development, particularly for our partners – the advertisers, the lifeblood of our business” said Bing Kimpo, chief marketing officer of Trackworks.

According to Kimpo, advertising clients have been contacting them about strong-arm tactics applied by sales personnel affiliated with Media Puzzle Inc. These clients were being forced to sign new contracts with MPI – if not have their existing material torn down.

Trackworks, is currently seeking arbitration in its contractual dispute with MRT Devco, which in 2000 gave them advertising rights over the MRT-3 until December 2015. Among other issues, Trackworks is claiming the return or credit of some P2 million it overpaid MRT Devco as a concessional fee.

Trackworks also revealed that it had been served a notice of garnishment by the Pasig RTC Sheriff, ordering the company to stop payments to MRT Devco and instead redirect these payments to construction contractor Filipinas Pre-Fab Building Systems, Inc. (FSI). To date, Trackworks has already coursed some P37 million in payment to FSI, through the Sheriff.

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