Changes in Russian Alcohol Advertising Regulations.
Changes in Russian Alcohol Advertising Regulations. Amendments of 2012.
Provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, laid down in Article 29, guaranteeing the freedom of ideas and speech, providing for the right to freely look for, receive, transmit, produce and distribute information by any legal way constitute the foundation of advertising business regulation in the country.
Legislation regulating advertising issues consists of Federal Law “On Advertising” (Federal law N 38-FZ “On Advertising” dated 13.03.2006) and other federal laws and regulations affecting business of alcohol market participants. Let us discuss changes in advertising industry regulations occurred in 2012 and current trends.
Amendments to Law on Advertising passed in 2012 can be nominally divided into two groups: 1) alcohol amendments and 2) information amendments.
Alcohol amendments came into force on 23rd July, 2012 due to amendment of Federal Law “On State Regulation of Production and Circulation of Ethyl Alcohol and Alcohol-Containing Products” (Federal law N 171-FZ dated 22.11.1995). The most significant change is that beer is reclassified as an alcoholic beverage.
As a result Article 22 (beer products) has been excluded, and Article 21 (alcohol products) has been amended as follows:
a) the provision providing for that an advertisement of an alcohol product shall not contain the assertion that the consumption of alcohol products is harmless or beneficial to human health has been specified as follows: “including information that an alcohol product contains biologically active supplements, vitamins”;
b) prohibition to use images of people and animals, in particular those made by means of animated cartoon techniques in advertisements of an alcohol product has substituted for prohibition to use images of minors, - the repealed “beer article” contained the same provision;
c) prohibition to place an advertisement of an alcohol product on all types of public vehicles has been altered as follows: “…on all types of public vehicles and using such vehicles and outside and inside buildings, facilities designed to ensure operation of public vehicles excluding points of alcohol products retail sale”;
d) a new prohibition has been added: alcohol advertising becomes forbidden on the Internet;
e) a new rule has been included which affects hard alcohol products: “An advertisement of an alcohol product containing at least 5% of ethyl alcohol by volume is permissible only in fixed-site sale facilities where alcohol products are sold by retail including in alcohol products tasting area located in such sale facilities”; due to exclusion of this provision as of entry into force date (23rd July, 2012) it had been allowed to place advertisements of hard alcohol products in printed mass media till 31st December 2012;
f) provision affecting advertising campaigns has been altered with regard to possible places – instead of “alcohol product retail organizations” the article contains definition of “fixed-site sale facility including alcohol products tasting area located in such sale facilities”;
g) a new provision on promoting campaigns has been included; it allows to conduct specialized promoting campaigns for alcohol products sale purposes, taking part in such campaigns is admissible only if alcohol products are purchased.
Article 14 of Law on Advertising has been specified with regard to prohibition to distribute alcohol products advertisements on TV channels accessible on a paying basis only using decoding devices.
From the view of the abovementioned amendments it may be concluded that alcohol products advertising business regulation has been enhanced due to changes in number of channels and means of communication.
The other group of amendments consists of information ones which are connected with entry into force from 1st September 2012 of Federal law “On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and the Development” (Federal law № 436-FZ dated 29.12.2010).
Due to adoption of this law Article 5 of Law on Advertising has been amended as follows: placement of advertisements of information products classified according to Federal law № 466-FZ without identifying these products has been banned.
Article 5 of Law on Advertising has also been supplemented by the provision providing for that “It is prohibited to distribute advertisements containing information prohibited to be distributed among children in accordance with Federal law № 436-FZ “On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and the Development” dated 29.12.2010 in educational organizations, children’s organizations, healthcare and health resort treatment institutions, physical training organizations, cultural and recreation agencies, designed for children, or less than in 100 meters from buildings of these organizations”.
Prohibition to show minors in dangerous situations has been specified as follows: “including situations inducing to act, posing a threat to their lives and / or health including damage to health”.
Summing up these amendments it can be concluded that advertising regulation practice was significantly affected by the requirement to qualify and to mark information product advertisement.
So those are the most significant changes in advertising regulations, some of them came into force in 2012 and some will enter into force in January 2013.
In conclusion it is worth mentioning that tobacco and tobacco products advertisements can be prohibited, this prohibition is provided for in Federal law “On Protection of Public Health from Tobacco Smoke and Tobacco Consumption Consequences”, adoption of which is expected in spring’2013.