Russian advertising agencies are preparing to change their contracts with bloggers due to changes in the law on foreign agents, sources from large companies told RBC. They intend to include a clause in the agreement on unilateral termination of the contract if the blogger receives the specified status.

Advertisers prepare changes to contracts with bloggers due to the modification of the law on foreign agents

NMi Group, OMD OM Group and Digital Church also reported that if amendments to the law are adopted, advertisers will have to develop protective measures.

  • In the summer of 2022, Vladimir Putin signed a law summarizing the legislative rules on foreign agents. The new rule allows such status to be assigned based on the fact that one is “under foreign influence in other forms” without receiving foreign financing.
  • In the summer of 2023, the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Maksut Shadayev, proposed banning Russian companies from placing ads with foreign agents if they were held responsible for “fakes” about the Russian Armed Forces.
  • On February 10, 2024, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin announced a discussion on a ban on advertising with all foreign agents.
  • On February 27, parliamentarians approved the amendments at second reading without debate. It is planned to introduce penalties of up to two years in prison for violating the rules. The third reading is scheduled for February 28.

In relation to possible changes in the law, market participants say that there are serious risks. According to the publication’s sources, the main threat is related to entering into contracts with people who are “at risk.”

“The register of the Ministry of Justice is traditionally replenished on Friday afternoon, when the working day of any accounting department has already ended. It is not known in advance who will arrive there and the modifications do not provide for any intermediate period: the advertising campaign must stop immediately after the registration is updated,” says one of the publication’s interlocutors.

As Anna Planina, head of digital technologies at NMi Group, explains, the technical side of advertising distribution can also cause problems. The advertiser does not always know in advance the list of sites on which the requested advertisement may appear.

According to Planina, it is important to create a mechanism that allows certain sites to be quickly included in blacklists.

Regarding advertising with bloggers, Planina points out the need to provide in contracts for the end of cooperation with bloggers, as well as compensation in case of recognition as foreign agents.

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At the beginning of summer, the Avanti Association for the Development of Business Patriotism came up with the idea of ​​imposing fines on bloggers for advertising goods and services from “hostile” countries.

UPDATE: On February 28, the State Duma approved in third and final reading a bill prohibiting advertising by foreign agents.


Natalia Gormaleva

Source: RB

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