Andrey Kashevarov: Advertising is Always a Challenge, but it is not a Challenge to the Society

That was the way Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia), the Chairman of the Steering Committee on Advertising at the Interstate Council on Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) Andrey Kashevarov characterized advertising at the 8th Meeting of the Council, which was held on the 4th April 2012 in St Petersburg at the Forum on “Festive Window Dressing. Advertising and Information”.

The meeting of the Steering Committee involved representatives of the antimonopoly bodies of the CIS member-states, business community, St Petersburg authorities. At the opening ceremony Forum participants were greeted by St. Petersburg Vice-Governor, Vasily Kitchedzhi; the President of St. Petersburg Public Council on Advertising, Vice-President of AKAR, Deputy Chairman of the Steering Committee, Sergey Pilatov; and Deputy Head of FAS, the Chairman of the Steering Committee, Andrey Kashevarov.

At the first part of the meeting, the Committee Chairman Andrey Kashevarov made a presentation “On Important Issues of Regulating Advertising Market in Russia”. He informed participants about significant amendments to the Federal Law “On Advertising” introduced in 2011. According to Mr. Kashevarov, the law has been changed significantly. First of all, the changes concern regulation of social advertising; the law also establishes requirements for locations of advertisements of medical services for induced termination of pregnancy. Specifics of the procedures for inspections in advertising are formalized. More strict requirements and restrictions are established for advertising beer and beverages made on its basis.

Deputy Head of FAS gave statistical data on violations of the law on advertising in 2011: “Last year the fines imposed by FAS for various violations of the law on advertising reached over 165 million Rubles, in comparison with over 120 million Rubles in 2010, which is serious, especially in view of the lower level of a fine for breaching the law – 100,000 Rubles rather than 500,000 Rubles”.

Deputy Head of the FAS Department for Control over Advertising and Unfair Competition, Ms. Tatiana Nikitina, presented a report “On the State of the Advertising Sector in the CIS Member Countries”. Discussing the report, the Steering Committee decided to form a Working Group to review and improve the report in terms of collecting and summarizing information in order to develop a unified approach (mechanism) to (of) market regulation.

In the second part of the meeting members of the Steering Committee were engaged in an active dialogue about specifics of legislative regulation of outdoor and social advertising. Talking about social advertising, Andrey Kashevarov pointed out that the main, crucial factor must be social responsibility of the advertisers, in particular, the authorities. Discussing the issue who pays for social advertising of the authorities in the city, Deputy Head of FAS stated: “We paid ourselves for advertising development of competition”.

Summing up the discussion, the Council unanimously decided to hold its meetings twice a year in view of various problems in regulating the advertising sector.

The next Council session will take place in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova, at the beginning of October 2012.

Source: FAS Russia