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A draft law has been submitted to the State Duma regarding liability for the failure to comply with requirements for keeping records of internet advertising

Pepeliaev Group advises that draft law No. 337373-8 (the “Draft Law”) was submitted to the State Duma on 14 April 2023. It has been stipulated that measures of administrative liability will be introduced for companies if they do not comply with certain requirements relating to keeping records of Internet advertising.

Please be reminded that, on 1 September 2022, amendments came into effect to the Federal law on advertising aimed at implementing in Russia a system of keeping records of Internet advertising. Market players were vested with obligations concerning keeping records of Internet advertising, namely:

  • to report to the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technology, and the Mass Media (in Russian, abbreviated to “Roskomnadzor”) on Internet advertising that has been placed (including regarding contractual and financial relationships between the parties);

  • to obtain an advertising identifier for each item of advertising material;

  • to mark Internet advertising.

For more detail on the new requirements please view our alert.

The Draft Law, however, provides for measures of administrative liability for the failure to fulfil the obligation to report to Roskomnadzor on Internet advertising that has been placed and for disseminating Internet advertising without an advertising identifier being assigned to it.

Let us consider the proposed amendments in more detail.

1. Not fulfilling the obligation to report to Roskomnadzor on Internet advertising that has been placed

Currently, players on the market of Internet advertising are obliged to report to Roskomnadzor on Internet advertising that has been disseminated, or to arrange for such a report to be made. The report is made via operators of advertising data (“OADs”), which are organisations authorised by Roskomnadzor. OADs are, in turn, required to submit such information to Roskomnadzor. All players on the market of Internet advertising are responsible for the information being complete, accurate, up-to-date and submitted to Roskomnadzor on time (article 18.1(11) of the Federal Law “On advertising”).

The Draft Law provides for administrative liability to be introduced with respect to advertisers, advertising distributors, or operators of advertising systems for committing the following offences:

  • non-fulfilment of the duties to report to Roskomnadzor on Internet advertising that has been disseminated, or to arrange for such a report to be made; or

  • a violation of the deadlines which have been established for such obligation to be fulfilled; or

  • when fulfilling the obligation, submitting incomplete, inaccurate or out-of-date information.

It has been proposed that an administrative fine be imposed of: RUB 10,000 to 30,000 on individuals, RUB 30,000 to 100,000 on a company's officers and RUB 200,000 to 500,000 on legal entities.

2. Distributing Internet advertising without an advertising identifier being assigned to it

Currently, Internet advertising is allowed to be distributed only if an advertising identifier has been assigned to each item of advertising material. OADs assign an advertising identifier. Requirements for an identifier of Internet advertising have been approved by Roskomnadzor’s Order No. 191 dated 30 November 2022.

Under the Draft Law, disseminating Internet advertising without an advertising identifier being assigned by an operator of advertising data or violating the requirements for placing such an identifier when Internet advertising is disseminated entails an administrative fine being imposed of RUB 30,000 to 100,000 on individuals, RUB 100,000 to 200,000 on a company's officers and RUB 200,000 to 500,000 on legal entities.

3. Non-compliance by OADs with the requirements for keeping records of Internet advertising

The Draft Law provides for administrative liability to be introduced with respect to OADs for committing the following offences:

  • non-fulfilment of the obligation to report to Roskomnadzor on Internet advertising that has been disseminated; or

  • non-compliance with the established procedure for interacting with Roskomnadzor; or

  • submitting to Roskomnadzor incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date information; or

  • violating the established requirements for an advertising identifier, its content, the procedure and deadlines for having it assigned, and storing and submitting it to Roskomnadzor.

It is proposed that an administrative fine be established of: RUB 100,000 to 200,000 for a company's officers and RUB 300,000 to RUB 700,000 for legal entities.

The Draft Law does not provide for a special body of the offence to be introduced to the Russian Code of Administrative Offences with regard to Internet advertising being disseminated without a marking. Please be reminded that an advertising marking should contain the “advertising” mark and the name of the advertiser and/or the website or website page containing information about the advertiser (article 18.1(16) of the Federal Law “On advertising”).

We believe that administrative liability may be imposed in accordance with the general body of the offence for which article 14.3(1) of the Code of Administrative Offences provides, namely: a violation by an advertiser, advertising producer, or advertising distributor of advertising legislation, with the exception of cases for which the Code of Administrative Offences provides.

The administrative fine will amount to: RUB 2,000 to 2,500 for individuals, RUB 4,000 to 20,000 for a company's officers and RUB 100,000 to 500,000 for legal entities.

What to think about and what to do

Players on the market of Internet advertising are advised to immediately bring their activities in line with the requirements of the Federal Law “On advertising”. In particular, we recommend ensuring that: information is submitted to Roskomnadzor regarding Internet advertising that has been distributed; an advertising identifier has been assigned to advertising materials; and Internet advertising has been marked.

Operators of advertising data are recommended to ensure compliance with obligations that involve reporting to Roskomnadzor about Internet advertising that has been distributed and identifiers that have been assigned to Internet advertising.

Help from your adviser

In view of the record-keeping system for Internet advertising being implemented, Pepeliaev Group’s specialists are ready to provide comprehensive legal assistance to companies.

Pepeliaev Group provides the following types of services:

  • advising advertisers, advertising distributors, advertising agencies and operators of advertising systems on the keeping records of Internet advertising;

  • conducting an audit of the activity of the players on the market of Internet advertising as to whether they are complying with the requirements of the legislation with respect to Internet advertising;

  • representing a client when dealing with state authorities;

  • other services.

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