Advertising that contravening the Federal Acts “On Advertising” and “On Protection of Competition” may be prohibited; that which would result in losses for a manufacturer in terms of fines, costs for making and launching a new publicity campaign, investment in restoration of good image and so forth. What can you do if your advertisement was recognized as dishonest and/or false, or you assume that it may be recognized as such? You should take advantage of our Free Services to find out whether there is an infringement of the advertising or competition laws. Depending on the results of the preliminary research you can decide what further steps to take.
The experts of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia are authorized to prohibit advertisements that are breaching the law. The Act “On Advertising” stipulates that advertising must be fair, true and reliable. In addition, advertising must not encourage people to commit unlawful acts, call for violence and cruelty; bring up a negative attitude towards any group or population, nor use any foreign words and expressions, foul language, obscene and/or offensive images. (See details in Art. 5&6 of the Federal Act “On Advertising”, Art. 21 – 25 of the Federal Act “On Advertising”).
There is but one drawback in that impressive and detailed list of the provisions, i.e. a number of points have a vague or ambiguous interpretation. For example, how can one make sure the advertisement is neither offending of insulting someone’s feelings, nor calling for violence? The thing that in the manufacturer’s opinion may seem witty, not hackneyed and appealing to consumers, from the viewpoint of target audience can seem hurting and be a violation from the position of the law. In such cases results of sociological research are recognized as the most reliable source of information needed to prove a violation of or defend the rights.
A sociological examination of advertising is carried out in three cases.
1. Before a public broadcast. If you have concerns about breaking the law, then the results of sociological research will allow you to understand how the target audience perceives the advertisements and also figure out how the wording and visual images affect the behaviour of consumers. An expert report may become a trigger for the amendments or provide a basis for protection against any unreasonable protests of your competitors.
2. To file an application to the court. If you think that the advertisements of competitors could violate your rights in some way, you may apply to an arbitration court or the Federal Antimonopoly Service. Before doing that you must collect sufficient evidence. The data of sociological research or of laboratory experiment can be used as evidence.
3. After receiving a letter from the Federal Antimonopoly Service or by a court’s decision. If a court has banned your advertisement but you are willing to challenge their judgement, it is necessary to collect your evidences. The opinion of consumers is an objective criterion as opposed to an evaluation of a commercial when viewed by few experts of a department of the Federal Antimonopoly Service.
The techniques used by the Sociological Examination Laboratory of the Institute of Sociology are fully compliant with requirements of government authorities and quality standards for the sociological research. On our website, you can see one of the lawsuits for misleading consumers through advertising for which we provided the evidence. Back in year 2012, “Nestle Russia” applied to the Federal Antimonopoly Service with a claim to an advertising campaign of the Hipp baby food.
You can find more examples of using the sociological research as evidence in lawsuits here, or request them through the “Ask a question” form, or by telephone.
To learn more about compliance with and breaching of the Acts “On Advertising’ and “On Protection of Competition”
please call us at (Tel). 8-800-500-97-95, or send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org