Advertising Committee: Why Advertising under Umbrella Brands Falls under the Ban?


The Association of European Business invited experts from the Ministry of Commerce to speak at the Advertising Committee on December 12, 2014. This meeting of the committee focused on planned changes inlegislation on advertising, practical aspects of advertising, the Concept of Outdoor Advertisingin Minsk in 2008 - 2015, and bidding for the right to place outdoor advertising.

The speakers also addressed such issues as advertising on Internet, use of promotional product samples in advertising, regulation of advertising games, marketing for promoting webpages of advertisers in social networks, improper advertising (use of the words "analog" or "analogue of the active substance"), advertising by distributors, and advertising of prescription medicine intended for use only by health professionals.

According to the representative of the Ministry of Commerce, the main innovation in the advertising regulations is the upcoming ban on advertising of umbrella brands (for advertising similar to advertising of alcoholic beverages and tobacco). To be considered “similar,” the advertising should contain indication to product name, company name, personal name, trademark, geographical indication, product image or consumer packaging, identical or confusingly similar to the name, trademark, or geographical indication used to identify alcoholic beverages, or the image of alcoholic beverages, or consumer packaging of alcoholic beverages. Such advertising will not be placed where, in accordance with the advertising lawand theacts of the President of the Republic of Belarus, advertising of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Advertisement similar to advertisement of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products is permitted if made in the form of information about a company or an individual, placed (distributed) on a sign, or made in an interview about a company or an individual.

“Such ban is a logical response to the excesses of the alcohol producers and their active promotion of drinking water. Recently, the Ministry of Commerce received a large number of requests on the legality of advertising the drinking water by alcoholic brands,” said Yauhen Mardasevich, the Head of GR of the Association of European Businesses.

In the near future, advertising regulations may be extended on advertising of electronic cigarettes and energy drinks.