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Anti-Monopoly Watchdog Bans Commercial for 'Insulting Bread'

Regional anti-trust authorities in Kostroma banned an "unethical" advertisement that a local organization said was insulting to "the world's revered bread."

The ban applied to a television commercial with the slogan, "If you make five typos in the word 'bread,' you get 'taxi,'" the local branch of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said in a statement.

The anti-monopoly watchdog fined the head of the advertising firm 4,000 rubles for the commercial and banned its further usage, Lenta.ru reported Wednesday.

The anti-monopoly service's statement, released earlier this month, didn't mention a fine.

In the statement on the agency's website titled "His Majesty — Bread! You Mustn't Insult It," the watchdog says a council of experts reviewed the advertisement after receiving a complaint from the local chapter of the Council of Veterans.

The complaint said the advertisement's "insulting attitude to bread" was "rude" and that such an interpretation of bread "besmirches the Slavic people and insults the world's revered bread."

In a statement on its official website regarding the advertisement, the anti-monopoly service cites a law on advertising that bans the use of swear words, obscene and offensive images, comparisons and expressions that include references to sex, race, nationality, profession, social class, age or language, human and civil state symbols, religious symbols, and cultural heritage sites.

It is not clear which category bread falls under.

Oleg Reveltsev, head of the Kostroma branch of the anti-monopoly service, explained that the agency ultimately came to the conclusion that the image of bread and the word "bread" may in fact hold "a sacred meaning, like a staple product."

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