Right for advertising beer limited

Brewing is Russia’s only industry where import substitution has achieved a really grand scale, and Duma deputies decided to pay particular attention to it. Today plenary session of the Russian State Duma approved amendments to the law “About advertising” concerning beer advertising. 

According to RIA Novosti, main discussion  was focused on the amendment providing for a complete ban of beer advertising within the period of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. As a result, the amendment was supported by 233 votes (226 votes were necessary for adoption of the law), 24 deputies turned it down, none abstained.

According to the law, “beer advertising shouldn’t produce an impression that drinking beer is of great importance for success in private and sports life, for improving of psychic or physical state. At the same time, people never drinking beer shouldn’t be discredited in such advertising.” One may ask, how this or that product can be made attractive for customers. Developments of so-called “prestigious consumption” are described in all books on PR and advertising. It is quite natural that people always want to have everything that is currently considered fashionable and prestigious, and ignore other factors. However, deputies and other governmental officials who strictly criticize advertising of Russian beer, pay little attention to such details. 
The law also says: “Advertising of beer can’t declare that beer is harmless and even wholesome for the human organism.” Is the prohibition right at the time when medical researches substantiate such statements? “Beer advertising can’t be addressed to under-ages, public figures, famous actors and athletes can’t be involved in advertising; no beer advertising is allowed to appear on TV and radio, in performances and periodicals for under-ages.”  According to statistics provided by the Russian Ministry for Health Care, youth currently needs no  advertising for drinking: beer and vodka of poor quality is what they can afford.

By the way, actors and public figures will hardly decline suggestions to act in advertising of beer, because brewers usually pay good money for it.
Other prohibitions are rather of a formal nature. It is not allowed to advertise beer in mass media specializing in “health care, environmental protection and physical culture.” It is not allowed to publish beer ads on the front and last pages of newspapers, on magazine covers, to circulate beer ads in educational, children and medical organizations, and even within the radius of 100 meters from them. No objections, it is perfectly right.

Persecution of beer advertising was started by the chief sanitary inspector of Russia, Gennady Onishchenko, who strictly criticized advertising of Klinskoye beer on TV. By the way, the professionally done advertising of Klinskoye beer was one of the best on TV, and what is more important, was also professionally oriented on the youth. Sun Interbrew, producer of Klinskoye beer says, when the advertising appeared on TV, sales went up practically in all Russian regions. However, the chief sanitary inspector of Russia says the advertising provokes young people to dangerous deeds (to tell the truth, unemployed and scarcely financed Russian youth doesn’t need any special provocation for rage, the have quite enough). 
The Russian Ministry for Anti-monopoly policy decided Onishchenko’s objections reasonable and prohibited advertising of Klinskoye beer on TV. Sun Interbrew filed an action against the decision, however, the Arbitration Court rejected the appeal.

It is strange, but after the slaughter that football fans had organized on the Manezh Square in Moscow, the authorities decided to pay more and more attention to problems of youth. Some time ago, teenager problems were the concern of law enforcement authorities only. When the Moscow police faced the problem of hooliganism among football fans, it was declared at once that salesmen and advertising agents who demonstrated dangerous videos to the youth were guilty of the slaughter.  By the way, the same advertising is allowed in all European countries.
In fact, the situation is as follows: before attending football matches or concerts, young people drink cheap vodka to raise their spirits, as they know that only beer will be available at the event itself. It is quite natural that young people start raging when they drink beer after vodka (it is a strict condition here in Russia not to mix vodka and beer, otherwise consequences will be sad for those who drink and for people by their side). You may ask why young people need to drink before concerts. It is strange, but people here in Russia prefer to drink some alcohol before attending concert, football match or some other public activities for raising their spirits.

The Duma was to have taken care about youth long ago. If young people have good opportunities to get education and work, they will never have time to walk idle. 

It is sad but not a single state organization (including schools and institutes) concerns upbringing of the younger generation. Nobody takes the trouble to explain that if young people don’t study and get professional education, they will be lost for the future. It is still believed that only families should be engaged in upbringing. However, according to the criminal statistics in Russia, hard drinking, fights and even murders are frequent in Russian families. But nobody in Russia cares about such domestic problems. So, unsettled social problems cause such phenomenon as skinheads and so on.

Kira Poznakhirko

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Author`s name Michael Simpson