Tobacco Advertising Ban to Start Friday
After a several month delay, Russia's ban on tobacco advertising goes into effect on Friday, prohibiting cigarette commercials on television, the Internet and in newspapers in addition to barring tobacco companies from sponsoring public events.
Violations will carry fines ranging from 3,000 to 600,000 rubles ($92 to $18,300), Vedomosti reported.
The ban was originally scheduled to come into force in June with an anti-smoking law that limits the number of places where Russians can light up, but the State Duma failed to write amendments into Russia's law on advertising before the deadline.
Tobacco companies nearly doubled their advertising budgets in the months ahead of the expected ban before slashing them in June.
Major media revenue from tobacco commercials reached 478 million rubles from January to May, 2013, compared to 269.5 million rubles during the same period last year, according to advertising marketing company Video International.
Though the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service announced in May the ban would be postponed, some tobacco companies, such as BAT Russia, said they have pulled their commercials from media. Others, such as Philip Morris, continued placing commercials, but refused to disclose whether the volume of advertising was reduced.
Press revenue from tobacco ads dropped to 11 million rubles in June, compared to 55.9 million rubles for the month in 2012, according to TNS Media Intelligence.