A Creative Tour de Force: Anatoly Yasinsky and Oleg Lapshin Moscow, Russia

Anatoly Yasinsky, 42 and Oleg Lapshin, 44, are the creative directors of Grey Russia.

Born in Moscow and St Petersburg respectively, they beg to differ, if good-naturedly, on the merits of blinis, caviar and the Bolshoi Theatre, but their two separate spells as colleagues at Grey Russia bear testament to the strength of their partnership. They were reunited as joint creative directors in 2005 and now work for clients including P&G, Nokia, GlaxoSmithKline, Reebok, Carlsberg and S7 Airlines. Previously, D'Arcy Kiev was named Agency of the Year and Creative Agency of the Year for three years running while Lapshin was its creative director. Under Lapshin's creative directorship in 2005, Grey won Silver for Creative Agency of the Year and landed Russian Gold Effies for Baltika and Pantene. Yasinsky previously held the top creative post at McCann Erickson Moscow.

- Where do you live?

Lapshin: North-east Moscow near the State Institute of Cinematography.

Yasinsky: Moscow. My home is surrounded by six monasteries; buried in one of them is the great 15th-century Russian icon painter, Andrei Rublov.

- Describe a perfect day with guests in your city

Lapshin: Start with tea and blinis with caviar at Novodevechiy monastery; take the boat to the Tretyakov Gallery; then go to the Bolshoi Theatre followed by a visit to Mama Zoya, a Georgian restaurant.

Yasinsky: I hate traditional Moscow junk like blinis and caviar. And the Marinski Theatre in St Petersburg is much better than the Bolshoi. But the Tretyakov Gallery and Georgian cooking make me feel at peace with this city.

- Tell us where you've chosen to be photographed and why

- Lapshin: Arches topped by two-headed eagles, the symbol of imperial Russia, have been built near Red Square recently. But you really can't see the eagles because they are obscured by hundreds of crows. For me, this represents the typical Russian gap between utopian goals and the chaos of everyday life.

Yasinsky: I took part in parades when I was in the army and this is the place where the tanks drove into Red Square. This church with its arches now blocks the way for the tanks.

- Tell us about the ad you've chosen to feature on this page

We've picked the "future" commercial for Baltika, the biggest brewer in Russia. It imagines a future where Baltika is piped across continents, conquering every corner of the globe - even outer space. The commercial was the basis of Baltika's repositioning - sales rose by more than 70 per cent in 2004.

- List the three most inspiring things about your city

Lapshin: Red Square, white churches, green parks.

Yasinsky: The Red Arrow train that takes you to St Petersburg.

- Give us a quote that encapsulates your city

"When you drive a car in any other world city you see the other cars around you. In Moscow, you see the other drivers."

- Name a perfect place to brainstorm in your city

The restaurant at Ostankinskaya Television Tower. It rotates at 200 metres above the city, which means your viewpoint changes every second.

- and to celebrate an account win

Lapshin: Petrovich private club.

Yasinsky: The dining car on the Red Arrow train to St Petersburg.

- to entertain a client

Take a tour around the Golden Ring - it's an ancient route encircling the north-east of Moscow, replete with history and unique architecture.

- to kit yourself out

Never in Moscow because it is extremely expensive.

- to go for a run

Along the Boulevard Ring - you will come across one small park after another.

- How do you unwind?

Lapshin: Cinema.

Yasinsky: Photography and books.

- What is your greatest extravagance?

Lapshin: Four cats, three guinea pigs, two ...

Yasinsky: I hate cats, guinea pigs and anything that comes in pairs ...

- Name one thing about yourself that might surprise others

Lapshin: I don't drink.

Yasinsky: My granddaughter is already two years old and I still drink.

- If you were an ad, what would your strapline be?

It's all about people.

- Finally, tell us the best way to ask for a pay rise in your country

In business, you need a good relationship with government officials. In advertising, you need talent, talent and more talent.


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