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A record-keeping system for internet advertising has started to operate in Russia

Pepeliaev Group advises that on 31 October 2022 the transition period finished for a record-keeping system for Internet advertising to be implemented in Russia. Now the players on the market of Internet advertising are obliged to submit to the Unified Register of Internet Advertising (the “Register”) information about Internet advertising aimed at attracting the attention of consumers of advertising located in Russia, to obtain an advertising identifier for each advertising material and to label Internet advertising with the “advertising” mark.

Currently, players on the market of Internet advertising include, among others, the following categories of persons.

1. The advertiser, which means the manufacturer or seller of a product, or another person that has determined the item being advertised and/or the contents of the advertising (article 3(5) of the Federal Law “On the advertising”).

2. The advertising distributor, which means a person that distributes the advertising in any way, in any form and by using any means (article 3(7) of the Federal Law “On the advertising”).   Advertising distributors may include, for instance, owners of social networks, audiovisual services, news aggregators, and organisers of the distribution of information on the Internet, including organisers of instant messaging services and operators of search engines.

3. The operator of an advertising system, which means a person that performs activity to ensure the functioning of an advertising system (article 3(14) of the Federal Law “On the advertising”).   Advertising systems include, for instance: Yandex.Direct, Google Ads. As a rule, advertising systems allow advertisers and advertising agencies to place on the Internet advertising in the form of banners, text or text and graphic items, video clips, audio recordings, live audio and/or video broadcasts. The types of advertising placed by using an advertising system may be, in particular, as follows:

  • contextual advertising, which means advertising that is demonstrated provided that its subject (context) corresponds to the interests of the user to whom such advertising is demonstrated;

  • search advertising, which means advertising that is demonstrated provided that the user’s search query contains a word or a word combination that is specified by the advertiser or the advertising agency as a ground for such advertising to be demonstrated.

4. An advertising agency may act as an intermediary between the other players on the market of Internet advertising. According to the position of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and the Mass Media (in Russian, abbreviated to ‘Roskomnadzor’), for the purposes of recording Internet advertising in the Register, the advertising agency, depending on the specific aspects of its activity, may be classified as an advertiser or an advertising distributor.

The list of the participants in an Internet advertising distribution chain and the order of priority in which they communicate may be different, for instance: the advertiser - the advertising agency - the operator of the advertising system - the advertising distributor [1].

On 1 September 2022, amendments came into force that were made by Federal Law No. 347-FZ dated 2 July 2021 to the Federal Law “On the advertising” with respect to implementing the record-keeping system for Internet advertising. Players on the market of Internet advertising (advertisers, advertising distributors, advertising agencies and operators of advertising systems) have the following obligations.

1. To submit to the Register information about Internet advertising that has been placed

The Register is operated by Roskomnadzor. The information is submitted to the Register through organisations authorised by Roskomnadzor that are operators of advertising data (“OADs”).

OADs are Russian legal entities that have an exclusive right to or a right to use software intended for the fact to be determined that Internet advertising has been distributed. OADs are authorised to record Internet advertising and to provide information about such advertising to Roskomnadzor. A commission of Roskomnadzor is established for the purpose of selecting OADs.

At present, OADs include the following companies [2]:

  • Yandex Operator of Advertising Data (ord.yandex.ru);

  • OZON ORD (ord.ozon.ru);

  • ORD-А (ord-a.ru);

  • LABORATORIYA RAZRABOTKI (ord-lab.ru);

  • PERVIY ORD (1ord.ru);

  • VK REKLAMNIYE TECHNOLOGII (ord.vk.com);

  • MEDIASCOUT (mediascout.ru).

Before the distribution of Internet advertising commences, the advertiser, the advertising distributor, the advertising agency and the operator of an advertising system must create a user account on the OAD’s website.  After the user account has been created, each participant of the  Internet advertising distribution chain must specify information about contracts concluded with other participants, including the parties, the subject matter of the contract, the date when it was concluded and other information.

Within a month following the calendar month in which Internet advertising was distributed, the participants of the Internet advertising distribution chain record in the OAD’s user account information about the performance of the contracts, including data on the date and number of the delivery and acceptance certificate(s) for the services supplied, the cost and scope of the services supplied and other information.

The information about contracts and certificates should be recorded in the user account on the OAD’s website with respect to all participants of the Internet advertising distribution chain. 

According to Roskomnadzor [3], each participant should independently record such information. At the same time, an advertiser that has an exclusive right to a trademark (the item of advertising) and/or that is the manufacturer or seller of the products may delegate the obligation to transfer data to the Register to other participants of the Internet advertising distribution chain.  The contract should clearly provide that the advertising distributor and/or the operator of the advertising system, instead of the advertiser, have the obligation to provide data on the advertising to the Register.

2. To obtain an advertising identifier for each item of advertising material

Distributing Internet advertising is allowed provided that an advertising identifier is assigned to each item of advertising material (a banner, text or text and graphic item, video clip, or audio recording).  An advertising identifier is a unique digital mark intended for ensuring the traceability of Internet advertising that has been distributed and the recording of information about such advertising.  OADs assign an advertising identifier (article 18.1(17) of the Federal Law “On the advertising”).

For an advertising identifier to be assigned, the item of advertising material must be recorded in the user account on the OAD’s website before the distribution of Internet advertising commences.  In accordance with Roskomnadzor’s position, any participant of the Internet advertising distribution chain may record the advertising material in the OAD.  It is most convenient for the operator of the advertising system or the advertising distributor to do this [4].

3. To label Internet advertising

Internet advertising should contain the “advertising” mark and the name of the advertiser and/or the website or website page containing information about the advertiser. Advertising is not subject to labelling if it is posted on TV programmes and TV broadcasts, radio programmes and radio broadcasts transmitted over the Internet (article 18.1(16) of the Federal Law “On the advertising”).

Commment

Currently, the Federal Law “On the advertising” does not directly specify exactly who must label Internet advertising with the “advertising” mark: the advertiser, advertising distributor, advertising agency or operator of the advertising system.  According to Roskomnadzor, Internet advertising must be properly labelled as it moves along the entire advertising distribution chain [5] .


What to think about and what to do

Advertisers, advertising distributors, advertising agencies and operators of advertising systems should bring their activity into line with the requirements of the Federal Law “On the advertising” with respect to recording Internet advertising. 

It is prudent to audit contracts between the participants of an Internet advertising distribution chain as to whether the following obligations are delineated:

  • to provide to the Register information about the Internet advertising that is distributed, including information about the contracts concluded and about delivery and acceptance certificates for services supplied;

  • to obtain advertising identifiers in the user account on the OAD’s website;

  • to label Internet advertising with the “advertising” mark specifying the relevant advertiser and/or the website or website page and containing information about the relevant advertiser. 

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 recording 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. 


[1] The Association for the Development of Interactive Advertising. Roskomnadzor explains the procedure for recording Internet advertising. P. 36

[2] The register of operators of advertising data.

[3] The Association for the Development of Interactive Advertising. Roskomnadzor explains the procedure for recording Internet advertising. P. 26

[4] The Association for the Development of Interactive Advertising. Roskomnadzor explains the procedure for recording Internet advertising. P. 6

[5] The Association for the Development of Interactive Advertising. Roskomnadzor explains the procedure for recording Internet advertising. P. 23




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