Unfair advertising

Article 5 of the Federal Law «On Advertising» prohibits unfair advertising. Unfair advertising — «недобросовестная реклама» — includes disparaging, inaccurate comparison, unfair competition and advertising of a restricted product under the disguise of the promotion of a different product with the same or a similar brand.

Disparaging advertising is advertising that discredits the honour, dignity or reputation of an individual or a legal entity. Although Russian law does not prohibit comparative advertising (except for medication), such comparison should be accurate and based on actual advantages of the advertised product or service. Unfair competition means misleading consumers.

Generally speaking, a claim for unfair advertising is a delict and the plaintiff, therefore, must prove not only the fact of unfair advertising but actual loss as well as the casual connection between the two. However, the authorised state agency (the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation) may initiate legal proceedings against a wrongdoer and impose a penalty in the amount of up to 500,000 roubles (app. USD15,000).