Internet Integration and Advertising

25 November 2022
Polina Vodogreeva

The Antimonopoly Service (FAS) expressed its position on its website1 regarding organic integration on the Internet and informed when the requirements for advertising on the Internet according to Article 18.1 of Federal Law No. 38-FZ of 13.03.2006 "On Advertising" (the "Law on Advertising") can be applied to the integration.

Organic integration into a particular work, including a video or a blogger’s post, is information about a product or a person that is an integral part of the overall plot (its separate part) and is an additional characteristic of the main character or created situation. A distinctive feature of organic integration is that the integrated product or company is not presented so that attention is focused on these products, on their benefits and other characteristics, they do not replace the main characters in the work (its separate part), do not interfere in the plot and cannot be removed from it without prejudice to the holistic perception of the work.

Examples of organic integration on the Internet are: mention of new cosmetics in videos or posts by beauty bloggers, as well as the usual (organic) use and use in videos by bloggers of goods for their intended purpose (e.g., food, clothing, dishes).

Generally, organic integration is not recognized as advertising and is opted out from application of the Law on Advertising by virtue of clause 9, Part 2, Article 2 of this Law.

At the same time, there is a condition under which integration is no longer organic and can be recognized as advertising on the Internet, and, accordingly, can fall under the provisions of Article 18.1 of the Law on Advertising. It includes cases when in the video, as part of the integration, attention is focused on the product, including describing its characteristics, properties or expressing a positive attitude of the blogger to it.

Since the requirements of Article 18.1 of the Law on Advertising (requirements for advertising on the Internet) apply from 01.09.2022, the FAS notes that if an advertisement is posted on the Internet before 01.09.2022, and contractual obligations for its placement are fulfilled before that date, then the provisions of Article 18.1 of the Law on Advertising are not applied.