Russia Bans Beer Advertising
Like a "blankie" being pulled away from a baby, Russians have had the guilty pleasure of beer advertising removed from their lives - at least from 6AM to 10PM. That's the gist of a new law due to be signed by Vladimir Putin sometime next week. In Russia, beer ads account for ten percent of television ad revenues amounting to potential loss of $1.4 billion.
"Attractive, obsessive and aggressive beer advertising makes it extremely attractive for consumption," Duma's Security Committee head Vladimir Vasilyev told parliament on Saturday. Well, yes, Vladimir. That's sort of the main idea about advertising - to make people want to buy stuff.
The law will prohibit images of people or animals in ads and requires 10 percent of ad space to be devoted to health warnings. Additionally, beer ads may not appear on the front or back covers of magazines and may not appear inside sports arenas and cultural institutions. Looks like we'll be seeing a lot of boring, all text ads buried in newspapers or perhaps Google will see a spike in its Russian AdWords business.
Needless to say, beer advertisers are pissed. Association of Communication Agencies President Vladimir (is everyone in Russia named Vladimir?) Yevstafyev reacted to the law saying, "This is barbarity, wild and irresponsible petty tyranny. This is nothing but cheap populism."