5 July 2012, 20:26

Russia to ban alcohol ads

Russia to ban alcohol ads

Alcohol advertisements will disappear from the Russia in media. After increasing the excise duty, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament adopted a bill that imposes a complete ban on advertising alcohol in printed editions as well as on the Internet.

It is expected that the law will come into force on the 1st of January. In fact, the overwhelming majority of MPs voted for the bill, one of its authors, deputy speaker of the State Duma Sergei Zheleznyak said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

“The members of all the factions supported the bill. This confirms once again that the State Duma MPs regardless of their party membership vote for socially significant draft laws in the interests of their voters,” Sergei Zheleznyak said.

Advertisements for low-alcohol drinks should disappear in the near future, says head of the centre for formulating national alcohol policy, Pavel Shapkin.

“Advertising strong alcohol has been restricted in the majority of countries. In the fight for sobriety, Russia is not lagging behind other countries. In view of this, I must say with satisfaction that over ten-year fight against advertising beer on television is ultimately ending. On the 23rd of July, a law that bans advertising alcohol on television, radio and in public transport and at railway and bus stations and airports will come into force.

There will be no billboards or cross street banners advertising alcohol. The new law will shut off the last channel for advertising alcohol, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. Originally, it was planned to impose a ban on advertising alcohol only on the sites that have been registered as online media. Under the adopted law, advertisement for any kind of alcohol, strong or low-alcohol drinks must disappear from traditional periodic editions and all the web resources. Opinion polls show that the young people of Russia start drinking alcohol at earlier ages. In view of this, young people must be protected from harmful information because they cannot perceive it rightly owing to inexperience, Sergei Zheleznyak emphasized.

“It is no secret that one of the big troubles facing the country is alcohol addiction among young people. In the past few years, alcohol has claimed many lives, and health of hundreds of young people has been damaged. Consequently, it was crucial to solve the issue related to advertising alcohol on the Internet, the sphere where young people are the most active target,” Sergei Zheleznyak added.

Notably, the Russian law not only repeats norms adopted by many European countries but also toughens them. For example, in Britain, advertising alcohol on television is banned up to 9 pm, while in Germany such advertisements are banned in programmes for children and young people. Moreover, according to German legislation, it is completely prohibited to show young people who are smoking or drinking alcohol in any advertisements. Interestingly, in France, advertising alcohol on TV is completely prohibited, and this is sharply restricted in other mass media.

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