The Russian Association of Brewers is opposing plans by the country's government to increase the restrictions on beer advertising. Vyacheslav Mamontov, head of the association's executive office, said the Association was to assert its position during preparations for the third reading of amendments to the law.

The Russian State Duma, late last week, voted overwhelmingly for tougher regulation on beer advertising which will include prohibiting the depiction of people or animals in TV ads and banning the transmission of TV commercials between 5pm and 10pm. Flouting opposition from the Kremlin, the deputies passed amendments to the law on advertising in the crucial second reading by a majority of 231 to 24.

As well as banning the prime-time airing of TV ads, the amendments would also prohibit brewers from targeting teenagers with their advertising or using famous people in their campaigns. The legislation would also make it illegal for a beer ad to suggest that beer can help raise social status, improve physical or emotional condition, or even quench thirst.
However the Brewers Association said Beer ad restrictions will harm the domestic brewing industry and be beneficial for rival industries. There are also concerns about the banning of images of people and animals, as a significant number of brands are formed on the basis of using these sorts of logos, reflecting the national character and Russia's people.

If the amendments are passed into law, they could represent a blow to two growth segments in the Russian economy, brewing and advertising. Beer commercials accounted for nearly 25% of all TV ads last year, with an estimated spend of $400m.