Russian Companies Could Be Fined for Foreign-Sounding Names in Ads

In line with a draft bill, Russian companies could face a fine for using foreign-sounding names to advertise their products.

Russian companies using foreign-sounding names to advertise their products could face a fine in line with a draft bill that seeks to stop producers from "disrespecting" the Russian language.

"A fee would be paid for displaying names or brand signs in Latin script or using foreign-language names in adverts," reads the text of the proposal, penned by members of the three main parties in the Duma — United Russia, the Liberal Democrats and the Communist Party.

According to the 2006 law on advertising, Western words like "sale" and "discount" are already required to be translated into their Russian equivalents or displayed as their phonetic transliterations in Cyrillic script.

The new bill, however, would prevent such transliterations and would require even trademarked brands to be displayed in Cyrillic.

Only goods advertised by companies registered in Russia would be sanctioned, according to a version of the proposal published Wednesday on the Duma's official website.

The size of the fee is yet to be determined but would take into consideration the amount of revenue generated by the product being advertised, the bill said.

According to the lawmakers, the bill would stop Russian companies from capitalizing on "false advertising" to sell their products and would stop producers from "disrespecting the Russian language," the TASS news agency reported.

The draft bill — which would target both legal entities and individuals — specifically highlights a ban on using Latin script to advertise Russian-produced goods. It is not immediately clear from the text of the bill if the ban would extend to other scripts, such as Chinese or Greek.

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