Thursday, 2 August 2012

Here today, gone tomorrow

It is rather surprising that a business offering investors a 13% return on their capital by investing in gold, then ploughing the money into an airline that could offer 99 złoty flights from Okęcie to several cities around Poland, did not get properly scrutinised by the Polish media. After all, Amber Gold and OLT Express billboards were everywhere...

On Tuesday I went for lunch with colleagues from work, and we noticed the OLT Express billboard, several stories high, on the side of a building on ul. Krucza was still there. As I'd left my camera in the office that lunchtime, I resolved to snap it for posterity on my way back to the Metro that evening. By five o'clock it had gone.

Yesterday morning, I passed an even bigger billboard, for Amber Gold, occupying two sides of a building on the corner of Al. Jerozolimskie, by Rondo ONZ. I resolved to photograph it at lunchtime, when the sun would illuminate both sides. Again, I was too late. So here's a photo taken on Monday morning showing just one panel of the billboard, the one facing Al. Jerozolimskie (below).

Below: and the same spot this morning, the Amber Gold advert had gone. The end of the month, and down go the ads that have not renewed their contracts.

I was puzzled for a while as to why the Konica Minolta ad remains atop this building. The firm, created out of the merger of Konica and Minolta in 2003, ceased making cameras in 2006, when Sony acquired the business. Why would this ad (illuminated at night) still be hear after six years? The reason is that (unlike OLT Express) Konica Minolta as a brand is alive and well - it's just that they no longer make cameras - just imaging technology (photocopiers, what have you).

Varsavianistas can take a peek on Google Maps, Google Streetview or Panoramio on Google Earth to see archive pics showing many billboards advertising recently defunct brands gracing Warsaw's streets. I sincerely hope their number will not swell in coming months and years.

This time last year:
The Twilight Rambler
[my first posting on 2 August]


Sigismundo said...

I see from the Amber Gold website they are now offering only a 10% return on deposits.

Their spread on the gold price for buying and selling raw gold 150pln/192pln (per gram?) is astronomical - an instant loss of nearly 22% if you buy and immediately sell.

Perhaps that's how they hope to make money?

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Sigismundo

They've cracked - Friday 3 August and they've stopped paying their depositors. Bob was right - this looks likely to end in prison sentences.