Advertising Under Roskomnadzor’s control

Amendments to Article 18.1 of the federal law “On Advertising”[1] came into force on September 1, 2022. These amendments oblige certain categories of persons to report information about a placed advertisement to Roscomnadzor (“RCN“).

The law will apply to:

– advertisers;

– advertising distributors, including owners of social networks, audiovisual services (online cinemas), news aggregators (such as Yandex.News), instant messaging services, and search engine operators;

– operators of advertising systems that organize the online distribution of advertising of any advertisers (e.g., advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, VKontakte).

The above-mentioned persons will pass information on advertising to an advertising data operator appointed by RCN, and the operator will transmit information to RCN. At present, the role of operators of advertising data is claimed, for example, by Yandex, VKontakte, and Ozon. Participants of the advertising market will be able to choose which advertising data operator’s services they will use.

The law will not apply to social advertising.

In addition, advertisers who have exclusive rights to advertised items and/or are manufacturers or sellers of advertised goods are not obliged to transfer information about advertising to RCN. For them, advertising distributors and advertising system operators will interact with RCN. For this purpose, the advertiser should specify in the contract with the advertising distributor that the distributor transfers information about advertising to RCN for the advertiser.

Advertisers (if they do not fall under the exception) are required to create a personal account in the Unified System of Recording Advertising on the Internet. Access will be provided through the state services portal Gosuslugi. In addition, advertisers will be obliged to register in the personal account information about themselves (taxpayer number, state registration number as a company or individual entrepreneur, address, etc.), as well as details of the contract with the advertising distributor and/or the operator of the advertising system, the subject matter and price of the contract.

Then the next participants in the chain (the advertising system operator, advertising distributor) must register data about themselves, information about subsequent contracts, about the advertising message itself, about platforms where advertising will be placed, about the period for placing advertising; and information about forms of advertising distribution, etc.

Actions will be carried out in a single personal account, which will be accessible by the advertiser, the advertising distributor, the advertising system operator, and the advertising data operator.

The necessary information from all participants should be transferred (reflected in the personal account) within a month after advertising is placed. Uploading documents and information to the personal account is equivalent to performing the obligation to submit information to RCN.

Then all the information received will be transmitted by the advertising data operator to RCN. RCN will have the right to transmit the information received to the Federal Tax Service, Federal Antimonopoly Service and other state bodies at such bodies’ request.

In addition, according to the new requirements, advertising distributed on the Internet, with the exception of advertising placed in TV programs and broadcasts and radio programs, should contain the notation “advertising”, as well as an indication of the advertiser and/or the site, a page on the Internet, containing information about the advertiser of such advertising. Moreover, the advertising should contain an identification number assigned by the advertising data operator.

The law stipulates liability for transferred information being for incomplete, out of time, irrelevant and/or inaccurate. This liability will apply to all participants of the chain – advertisers, advertising distributors and advertising systems operators. At the same time each participant of the chain is responsible specifically for violations on its own part.

Administrative liability in an amount from 100 000 to 500 000 rubles is stipulated for legal entities for a violation of the legislation on advertising. RCN will be responsible for identifying violations and bringing offenders to justice.

Thus, from September 1, 2022, participants in the advertising market (advertisers, advertising distributors and operators of advertising systems) have two major new responsibilities:

– they are obliged to transmit information about placed advertisements to RCN;

– an advertising distributor is responsible for ensuring that online advertisements are marked as “advertising” and are accompanied with information about the advertiser, as well as with the identification number assigned by the advertising data operator.

Interaction with RCN will take place in electronic form through a personal account.

[1] Federal Law No. 347-FZ dated 2 July 2021 “On Amendments to the Federal Law ‘On Advertising’”.

Vera Zotova
Senior Associate, PhD in Law

+7 931 210 50 03
St. Petersburg