Thursday, July 28, 2005

Journalistic rivalry

One of the fun competitions in Kyiv is the rivalry between the Kyiv Post and What’s-On. For a long time the competition took the form of how often could they include a photo of Walid Harfouch in each issue. Currently, the Post is leading this competition with a hard-hitting interview with Mr. Harfouch in the last issue. The Post is aiming directly at What’s On with advertising asking “Do You Need an Ad that Works?” It suggests that the Post has over twice as many readers weekly as “What’s On.” It probably does, but I would bet that readers keep “What’s On” around the house a bit longer.


In fact both the Kyiv Post and What’s On do a similar job. What’s One gives the impression that all editorial content is promotional by nature and is not ashamed of the fact. The Post tries to present a higher editorial tone but it appears no less governed by advertisers than What’s One. The one superior feature of What’s One is that it has well written, knowledgeable articles dealing with Ukrainian life. Its recent feature on tales of Ukrainians’ first journey aboard was great. The most recent article has a very broad guide to the Crimea. Of course, much of the content is tied to advertising, but again it is not ashamed of the fact.


Both newspapers feature a healthy (?) number of escort services advertisements. These must be a profit center for both the Post and What’s On. In recent articles, the Post editorial staff seems to distance itself from these ads. I would suggest that if you accept the ads, live with it. It might be handy to run a ‘Best of Kyiv” review of the services. Certainly it would be of use to the targeted readers of the Post.

The Boardening Retail Scene

I have been meaning to write about JYSK. It is a large home-furnishings store that features inexpensive Scandinavian furniture (which the English call “flat-packed”). It was features a very wide selection of bedding (possibly the largest in Kyiv) and other home furnishing. As a promotional gimmick, it uses ridiculously low cost sale items to attract shoppers. Currently it has binoculars for 69 UAH.


 Another boom to Ukrainian retailing is the City.Com store in Petrivka. It is packed full of computing supplies. Recently it expanded its digital camera offerings, as well as its digital media section.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Kyiv's retail growth still amazes

The new Harry Potter book was available, in large quanities, in Kyiv on the day of publication. Which suggests two things, that the promotional activity for the book was truly worldwide, and secondary, Kyiv's retailers are starting to reflect international market trends. How many of the books, at $29 each, will be sold in Kyiv is another matter.
Also new in Kyiv, is a GNC nutritional center. A fixture of every single mall in America, can now be found in Kyiv.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Ukraine: would hike in Russian gas prices prove a blessing in disguise?


That Ukraine must broaden its energy supplies is oblivous, that Russia might actually spur this development is not.

Monday, July 11, 2005 - Free eBooks for your PDA - Free eBooks for your PDA

Completely off the subject. This is a downloadable library that is full of wonderful books. There is no cost but a donation is requested. This effort is assocation with the Project Guntherberg.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nostalgia TV

The Russian cable TV channel, Nostalgia, (on Voliacable Digital Service) is an interesting service. It features TV programs from the 1980’s and before. It broadcasts a range of programs, from newscasts to movies to musical concerts. The newscasts and documentaries are full of Soviet propaganda but it is expected that you will be able to see thorough the crap. The popular musical programs feature performers that are still very active today. In a few cases, they appeared more mature in the 1970s than they do today (the magic of plastic surgeons). That Russian popular music has not changed in thirty years, at least in terms of headliners, is certainly a sign how stagnate televised popular music in Russia is.

If the channel is nostalgic about anything, it is nostalgic for Perestorika. The general image is that only during Perestorika were changes able to occur and perhaps a great deal of foresight did not take place during that period in making the changes. This nostalgic viewpoint seems much stronger in Russia than it is in Ukraine. One final note, some of the documentaries produced during Perestorika were strongly critical of the Soviet Union. I am uncertain whether this critical opinion could be broadcast today on Russian TV.

Voliacable provides a great digital TV service. If only they would return Irish National radio back to the audio service.