Probably, none of Uzhgorod residents is indifferent to outdoor political advertising. The city and its surroundings are littered with big faces and promising slogans. So it seems at first glance. In fact, Uzhgorod is littered with money which could have been used much better.
Uzhgorod.in, that really does not like to count other people’s money and has never done it, could not resist the temptation now. We approximately (since the detailed information is a trade secret) estimated what the candidates could have done instead of "decorating" the city with their own bright images.
One million hryvnias. This is our preliminary estimate, which does not claim to be the ultimate truth. This is a minimum possible figure. This is the result of the "soft" calculation. Thus, to our knowledge, Uzhgorod "is lucky" to be a home to five hundred billboards. Now, about 80% of them are used to display political advertising. The rent of a billboard for one month is 2,500 UAH – excluding the political factor (and sometimes the margin is 100%). But, let’s count by "the general rules." So, according to the most conservative estimates (400 x 2,500), we have a sort of a round figure – 1,000,000. That is, one million.
And we continue to count. But first … Let’s identify the leaders. We do not want to dive into the details of the advertising business in Uzhgorod, but it is clear that this process brings the biggest profit to the firm, that is said to be indirectly owned by the son of the former mayor of Uzhgorod Andriy Pogorelov: the infamous "Boomerang", registered for Leonid Bulanov, has 130 boards in Uzhgorod. Of course, most of them advertise Andriy. It may not help him win, but apart from expenses (for printing and gluing), there is a profit here: spaces are actively rented.
Speaking of the active. Robert Horvath will be remembered for the most aggressive advertising campaign. In our calculations, this candidate for deputy is the leader in spending on outdoor advertising. Others can only dream of such activity, but they are also trying. So, the number of big faces on the streets of Uzhgorod is hard to count.
We will try to calculate what useful things for the people could have been done instead of pre-election waste of money on billboards. So, according to our rough calculations, the money spent on political advertising only on billboards would be enough to plant the whole city with beautiful flowers: it could buy 33,333 bushes of chrysanthemums (they cost 30 hryvnia for a bush). It would definitely decorate the city better than "bright images" of candidates.
It looks more serious when transferred for the most urgent needs. So, one million hryvnia (according to the most conservative and rough estimates). According to the Movement to support Transcarpathian soldiers, one set of ammunition for the ATO fighter costs 7,425 hryvnia and more. It should be noted that volunteers bought used helmets at discounted prices from abroad, found cheaper bullet-proof vests, and a set does not include first aid kit and spare uniform. Adding harnesses and another camouflage and a bag, we get an approximate "round" 10 thousand. So, for the money spent on displaying their faces all over the city of Uzhgorod and Uzhgorod district, the candidates could have equipped 100 ATO soldiers. At least minimally.
Let’s summarize. To contribute to the ATO. Or to plant the city with flowers. Or to repair several facades in the historic center. No, advertising from billboards. And only October 26 will show how effective these efforts were.
Note: the calculation, by which we got one million hryvnias, spent by candidates for outdoor advertising in Uzhgorod, was too rough. We took into account only the official rate. Also, we did not consider city lights and other forms of advertising, expenses for leaflets, advertising on TV, radio, newspapers and online media. The actual amount spent by "faces" on the campaigning are only known to themselves and the heads of their headquarters.We can only speak about the minimum – 33 thousand chrysanthemums and ammunition for one hundred ATO fighters. But perhaps the candidates know better what to invest into…