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The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) disallowed “invisible personages” in TV beer commercials.  Since a statute prohibits using “images of humans and animals” in beer ads, beer companies have widely used offscreen dialogues and similar techniques to circumvent the prohibition.  The FAS reacted by an informal demand to withdrew such ads under penalty of a fine.  Beer companies have declared compliance.[1]

According to the Law “On Advertising,” beer ads must not “use images of humans and animals, including animated cartoons.”[2]

According to the FAS interpretation of the statutory provision, also disallowed are offscreen dialogues and monologues on behalf of a specific character; imitation of beer consumption, such as clinking glasses or offscreen drinking toasts; close-ups of cars or other objects moved exclusively by humans; etc.  Although the FAS has not put its interpretation in a written form, on an informal meeting with beer companies it demanded to withdrew questionable ads by August 1. 

In case of non-compliance the FAS may institute administrative proceedings against the beer company.  The administrative fine is 40,000 to 500,000 rubles (cr. $1,300-17,000) per count.[3]  A FAS decision may be challenged in court.

[2] Пп. 6 п. 1 ст. 22, ФЕДЕРАЛЬНЫЙ ЗАКОН от 13.03.2006 N 38-ФЗ (ред. от 27.10.2008) "О РЕКЛАМЕ".

[3] RF Code of Administrative Offences, art. 14.3.

Eurasian Law Breaking News

For more legal news from Russia, as well as from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, visit the following blog maintained by the American Bar Association's Russia/Eurasia Committee:
Eurasian Law Breaking News

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