How to promote online betting under the labeling law for advertising

Publication date: 12 Sep 2022

Autumn is the time to label advertising!  On 1 September 2022 amendments to the law “On Advertising” came into force in Russia (Article 18.1. Advertising in the information telecommunication network “Internet”). From now on, all advertisements shown to the citizens of Russia must be specifically marked (labeled). 

There is a lot of information and it is varied, the changes are complex and not entirely clear. We will try to highlight the main points and understand how to promote betting and gambling now 

Labeling of advertising in Russia: basic terms and concepts 

  • The marking of an advertisement (creatives) is done with a token which is a unique identifier (ID). It is encoded as an alphanumeric code in a link that sends the user from the creative to the advertiser’s website. Externally, the ad should be labeled “advertisement”, with details of the advertiser or website. 
  • The Advertising Data Operator can help with labelling and transferring data to the Unified Internet Advertising Register (ERIR). The Advertising Data Operator will be approved on 1 October and is now claimed by Yandex, Vkontakte, Sber, OZON, MTS and others. It is possible for a customer to cooperate with more than one Advertising Data Operator at the same time. Advertising Data Operator transmits data to the Unified Internet Advertising Register: information about marking a creative is transmitted, in 20 or 30 days (to be specified) all information about the duration of the advertising campaign, details of displays and their costs, documents about the advertiser is transmitted. 
  • The Unified Internet Advertising Register is an accounting system for all advertising, which is monitored by Roskomnadzor. The Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Federal Tax Service will also have access to the register. The data submitted to the ERIR will be stored for 1 year.

Labeling of advertising in Russia: who, what, how much 

Who should label ads? Advertisers (customers) themselves and platforms working directly with them, advertising systems, advertising agencies, bloggers and freelancers should label advertisements and provide information to the ERIR. Individuals are free to advertise their services. But afterwards they will have to report receiving financial benefits, so the status of individual entrepreneur or self-employed person will be required. 

What needs to be marked? Everything that has a link for the user to go to the website and receive the service (product) must be labeled. Therefore, a token must accompany all banners, teasers, videos (including stories and live-streaming) as well as audio messages, posts and texts.  There are happy exceptions, read about them next.  

How much does it cost to label ads in Russia?

For a transitional period (until 31 October 2022), obtaining a token and cooperating with Advertising Data Operators is free. Time will tell what happens next, clarifications to the law or new charging from advertising platforms. 

Those who refuse to work under the new law will face fines. Individuals will pay between 2,000 and 2,500 roubles for each creative without a token, while legal entities will pay between 100,000 and 500,000 roubles. The fine will be paid by the advertiser or the person who is contractually obliged to submit the data to ERIR. Detection of unlabeled advertising will be handled by the RCN and the FAS. According to unofficial reports, the fines have been postponed until March 2023. 

NO NEED TO BE LABELED:  

  • Marking is required for creatives that operate under “contractual obligations”, i.e., that someone has paid to display. If you display your own ad (for any purpose) on your website (channel, group), you don’t need to report it. 
  • Informational and any other (social) material not intended to sell or otherwise obtain a financial benefit does not need to be labeled. 
  • Also, an exception to the advertising law is (you can choose not to mark it): mailings to a group of people (e-mail, sms, push).

How to promote betting and gambling in the context of the labelling law for advertising?  

  • If you place creatives on your own resources: you do not pay yourself, so there is no need to label anything.  You are only supposed to draw attention to your own goods/services in this way.
  • If you place someone else’s advertisements on your own resources: register with the Unified Internet Advertising Register via the Advertising Data Operator, get all the information from the advertiser, pass it on and pay taxes. 
  • If you place advertising through other services (Yandex, Google, Vkontakte), these advertising systems will send the information to the ERIR. As a customer of advertisement, you have to provide TIN and phone number (and other data). It is still completely unclear what to do for those who promote themselves through Facebook or Instagram (which are banned in Russia).
  • If you are targeting any ad to an audience in other countries, then act within the laws of those countries.

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