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Ukraine: Advertising Law Reform

Ukraine: Advertising Law Reform

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Effective from 2 October 2023, Ukraine has ushered in a series of substantial amendments to its Advertising Law, aimed at modernizing advertising regulations and harmonizing them with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Key takeaways

Clarified scope of application. The revised Advertising Law brings more clarity by establishing criteria for determining which advertisements are subject to Ukrainian jurisdiction. Notably, these updates also introduce new regulations concerning product placement and advertising across a spectrum of digital platforms, including video-sharing platforms, information-sharing platforms and electronic communication channels, such as messengers, bots, virtual and augmented reality, and other digital technologies.

New restrictions. The list of content prohibited in advertisements is expanded with certain discriminatory statements and unauthorized use of individuals' images or names. Importantly, the amended law restricts residents of Russia from engaging in advertising activities within Ukraine. Additionally, a novel provision has been introduced, prohibiting the placement of ads on websites flagged by WIPO ALERT, based on Ukraine's list of websites raising concerns about IPR compliance.

Revised license and permits-related requirements. The prohibition on advertising goods and services lacking necessary licenses and permits remains intact. However, accountability for compliance with this requirement has been transferred to advertisers, with advertising agencies not being considered advertisers for this specific purpose. Liability for spam. Despite the long-standing prohibition on spam, there was previously a lack of clear liability provisions for violations. With the new changes, violations of spam restrictions may result in fines of approximately USD 1,400.

Protections of children's personal data. The revised Advertising Law enforces strict regulations that prohibit media, video-sharing platforms and information-sharing platforms from processing children's personal data for commercial purposes. This includes direct marketing, profiling and behaviorally targeted advertising.

Self- and co-regulation. The updated legislation paves the way for self- and co-regulation within the advertising industry. This empowers businesses to play a more active role in shaping regulations, particularly concerning the creation and distribution of advertising.

Recommendations

The amendments to the Advertising Law are expected to have a positive impact on the advertising industry in Ukraine. We strongly recommend closely monitoring developments in the enforcement of these regulations to ensure compliance and adapt to the evolving legal landscape.

By Oleksiy Stolyarenko, Partner, and Dmytro Skydan, Associate, Baker McKenzie

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