GPlus to aid first Russian private business school

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS: Brussels-based EU communications specialist GPlus has been ­appointed to promote the launch of Russia's first ­entirely privately funded business school.

The agency - which counts the Russian government among its clients - is briefed to generate publicity around the laying of the building's foundation stone, scheduled for 21 September.

The Moscow School of Management is expected to start running programmes in 2008, with its first full intake in 2009. It will offer MBA courses, and has ambitions to be one of the world's top business schools in ten to 15 years.

The driving force behind the project is Ruben Vardanian, CEO of leading Russian investment bank Troika Dialog. Other investors include TNK-BP - BP's joint venture in Russia.

The news comes as oil-fuelled economic growth in the former Communist country creates a rapidly growing middle class, with property prices soaring and waiting lists for luxury goods such as foreign cars growing.

A campaign will attempt to position Moscow School of Management as a centre of academic excellence cap­able of fostering business leadership in Russia.

A press conference and laser show will mark the launch event, with Vardanian and members of the Russian government in attendance. GPlus is targeting business and education journalists, and European politicians.

The account is led by ­newly promoted partner Tim Price. The work was awarded through GPlus's Moscow-based affiliate Maslov, Sokur & Associates (MS&A).

GPlus - bought by Omnicom in March - is one of a team of agencies working for the Kremlin to advise on dealing with global media interest during its G8 presidency.

The Ketchum-led team includes Gavin ­Anderson in Japan and MS&A in Russia (PRWeek, 5 May).

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