Selected countries

IRIS Plus 2005-2: Regulation of Advertising in the Broadcasting Sector in Countries of the Former USSR

Author: Dmitry Golovanov, Moscow Media Law and Policy Centre

Published: 01/04/2005

Although TV and radio advertising has many fans, numerous viewers and listeners regard it as nothing more than a necessary evil: necessary because it helps finance free-to-air channels and evil mainly because it interrupts programmes or its content is met with disapproval. Some forms of broadcast advertising, particularly purely commercial advertising, are typical of capitalist societies. Others, such as political advertising, find a home in various different social systems.

The financial potential and variety of possible forms and content of TV and radio advertising are the reason for and object of advertising legislation. In Western Europe, the relevant legal provisions are not only numerous, but also highly detailed. Their consistency was discussed in a previous IRIS plus (2003-8). But what about countries where broadcast advertising is a relatively new concept? What is the situation of advertising legislation in Eastern Europe, where commercial advertising did not exist until after the fall of the Berlin wall and all the economic changes that followed?

This IRIS plus describes the development of radio and TV advertising regulations in the former USSR states and the current situation of advertising law in these countries. It paints an extremely interesting picture covering a whole range of topics such as legislative drafting techniques, social advertising, political advertising, the language of advertising, content restrictions, advertising on state-controlled and public service channels, liability, monitoring and self-regulation.