Recent changes in alcohol advertising regulations

The amendments to the Federal law "On Advertising" became effective on 23 July, 2012 and the Federal Competition Service of the Russian Federation ("FAS Russia") has issued relevant clarifications on advertising of alcohol products in its letter No. AK/29977 dated September 13, 2012.

A website or profile in a social network of an alcohol product manufacturer or retailer that contains information about its range of goods will not qualify as advertising. However, if the information is aimed at emphasizing certain products or the organization among homogeneous products and organizations (for example, by means of a pop-up banner), then such information may be considered an advertisement.

A video posted on  video hosting web-sites (like isn't considered an advertisement.

Mobile applications or software, as well as their design are also not considered advertisements, if  information related to the other goods wasn't included while designing.

Sponsorship advertising of an alcohol product manufacturer on the internet is prohibited.

If adverts are made of non-alcoholic beer or wine with identical trademarks to beer or wine with ethanol content of more than 0.5 per cent and it is not clear that the subject of advertising is indeed non-alcoholic beer, then such adverts must comply with the Federal Law "On Advertising".

The publication date of improper advertisements (the publication date of the relevant newspaper or magazine issue, which places advertisements that violate the law) is considered the date of violation of the law on advertising.

Advertising alcohol products containing 5% or more ethyl spirit in a newspaper or magazine isn't a violation as long as the newspaper or magazine issue is published before 31 December, 2012. This regulation stands even if this newspaper or magazine issue is on sale in 2013.

Journalistic articles or news about drinking culture for instance, the traditions of wine consumption in various countries aren't considered alcohol advertising. The same goes for interviews with representatives of alcohol producers, ingredients that contain alcohol in cocktails or recipes without naming specific alcohol products.

Advertising of alcohol products is not permitted at railway stations, airports, except advertisements placed in licensed catering areas (including "duty-free" shops). However, such advertisements must be placed in such a way as to be aimed at consumers located inside these areas.

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