Duma Reviews Bill To Ban Alcohol Ads

Duma Reviews Bill To Ban Alcohol Ads

Published: June 13, 2012 (Issue # 1712)

MOSCOW — The latest move in a legal crusade to crack down on Russians’ love of alcohol could see beer advertising banished from the Internet.

A new law on advertising that comes into force July 23 will ban all alcohol advertising on television and radio, on the front and back pages of newspapers and magazines, and from outdoor advertising.

A separate law that went to its second reading in the Duma last Friday would ban beer advertising on websites registered as “media.”

But some deputies are pushing to turn that into a blanket ban on advertising of alcohol products anywhere on the Internet.

Igor Rudinsky, a United Russia Duma deputy backing the bill, told Vedomosti that the amendment was targeted at advertising on social media sites, which are heavily used by young people but not registered as media.

Questions abound about whether the law will be enforceable, however.

Andrei Kashevarov, deputy head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, told Vedomosti that monitoring the whole Internet would be “impossible” for the service in its current state.

“We couldn’t exert total control, just a sample,” he said.

A Duma deputy rejected complaints that the flurry of new laws aimed at cracking down on sales and advertising of alcohol and tobacco was draconian.

“Lots of the points in [the tobacco bill] under development were initiated by tobacco corporations, so when the media say this is draconian it is a myth,” Sergei Furgal, chairman of the Duma sub-committee on healthy lifestyles said at a conference on the Russian food industry.

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