Who Made the Ugly Logo of the Russian Presidential Elections? In Short
The Mikhailov & Partners agency will be responsible for covering the CEC during the presidential elections. IMA-consulting won a state contract for the creation of an awareness-raising campaign for the presidential elections. Russiangate very shortly tells who they are.
The agency Mikhailov & Partners is owned by Novakom Group LLC. Its founders are Vitaly Krivenko (50.4%), Igor Simonov (3%) and Ivan Nikitin (1%). The remaining 45.6% belong to two offshore companies based in Cyprus: KRETLIA HOLDING LIMITED and RIO LIMITED. Among the founders of the agency itself, there are CEO of TASS Sergey Mikhailov and his wife Juliana Slascheva.
Mikhailov & Partners received state contracts for 1.7 billion rubles. Over the past year – for 323 million rubles. It conducted individual medical trainings for JSC Russian Venture Company (RVK, owned by the Federal Property Agency), educated the public about parking in Moscow (17 and 19 million rubles), helped with the advertising of MGTS, JSC Helicopters of Russia (26 million rubles), the Social Insurance Fund (40 million rubles). The agency also entered into contracts with Sberbank (12 million), Mosgortrans (64 million), VTB (4 million) and Rostekh (88 million).
The head of TASS and the agency concluded a state contract between his companies. Mikhailov & Partners won a state contract for 11 million rubles from TASS in May 2017. This money was paid to the agency for the publication of the news of the federal target program Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation for 2016-2020. It is unusual that the news is published by a consulting, rather than an information agency.
In February 2016, the agency was searched. The searches were associated with embezzlement. A year earlier, investigators got interested in the for 10.6 million rubles contract concluded between the Primorsky Territory Development Corporation and Mikhailov & Partners. The work was completed only on paper, the check established. The agency does not work with the Primorsky Territory anymore.
The company IMA-consulting was established in 1999. Its founders are Vartan Sarkisov and Andrei Gnatyuk. The company is engaged in PR, analytics, training and GR.
The company requested 37 million rubles to cover the activities of the CEC before the presidential elections. This amount includes fees for sociological studies, advertising, elections logo, corporate identity and a souvenirs line. On November 29, the Central Election Commission presented the logo. It looks like it was copied from an image from an image bank.
Last year, Ima-consulting received state contracts for 124 million rubles. Most of the contracts were concluded without competitors. The competitors are the companies that are affiliated with it: Tretya Tochka (The Third Point) (part of IMA-press) and the Institute of Management and Management Consulting (founder and CEO is Anton Mitichkin, who is also the executive director of the Development of Cooperation with China Fund, which is part of the IMA holding). Two more competitors, Liner and School of New Media are also affiliated with the company. This is described in the report by Transparency International.
The company serves the Mayor's Office of Moscow. It provides “information support”, the essence of which is to publish “good” news about the authorities in the city media. This was described in detail by Lapshesnimalochnaya web site.
IMA-consulting was involved in a scandal with renovation. It turned out that the company gathered fake city residents at public hearings, created groups that “promote the benefits of the renovation“ and uses Internet bots against those who are not happy with the initiatve.
Thus, IMA-consulting is not just engaged in PR-services, but acts on the orders of the authorities, trying to form public opinion in the way that officials need.