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“The goals and benefits of the system of unified accounting of online advertising are unclear”: the market criticized the amendments to the law

Amendments to the law on advertising, according to which a unified system for accounting for Internet advertising will appear on the Russian Internet, will come into force on September 1, 2022. All market participants – from independent advertisers and agencies to advertising systems – will have to transmit campaign data to Roskomnadzor.

This should make the market more transparent, but the current version of the amendments, according to market participants, does not take into account all industry mechanisms and requires improvement. If the amendments are adopted in the current edition, the market may sink, advertising may rise in price due to heavy workload and reporting, and agencies and freelancers will lose part of their income.


What awaits the advertising market with the current revision of the amendments
What digital agencies and aggregators ask to consider
What can be done right now
After the amendments come into force, advertisers will be required to register information about it in the new system within 30 days after placing an advertisement – about sites, number of impressions, agents, counterparties, costs, and so on. The data will be stored for a minimum of five years.

Among the advantages of the new system are the ability for advertisers to compare the budget and costs on advertising sites, whitewashing the market and excluding fraudulent schemes of intermediaries. However, the industry has more fears so far.

What awaits the advertising market with the current revision of the amendments
So far, one thing can be said with certainty: the amendments are likely to negatively affect the cost of placing digital advertising for all advertisers, says Yaroslav Smirnov, Marketing Director at Completo. In his opinion, advertising distributors and agencies will have to restructure processes to meet the requirements of the law and incur additional costs for the formation and provision of reports.

“The main problem with the current revision of the amendments is that the goals and benefits of implementing the system are not very clear – neither for the state, nor for advertisers, nor for intermediaries,” said a Completo spokesman.

Smirnov also adds that the digital advertising market is now quite transparent, and the system will not help advertisers to place cheaper. In the fight against unscrupulous sites, the new rules are also unlikely to help: the main burden will fall on large advertising distributors with strict moderation rules. Another question pointed out by the expert is why not only distributors, but also intermediaries should be connected to the system.

Perhaps the amendments will become the foundation for the introduction of a kind of “tax on advertising”, which will affect large foreign distributors of advertising or even the entire market as a whole, Smirnov concluded.

The COO of the eLama service, Antonina Serebryakova, believes that if the new rules work correctly, they will increase the transparency of the market for the client and help in the fight against fraudsters and illegal advertising. However, she also highlighted several difficulties in the current edition of the amendments:

The amendments are ambiguous regarding the opportunities for individuals and the self-employed. There are about 25-30% of such advertisers, but after the amendments come into force, they most likely will not be able to purchase advertising.
Market participants will have a serious burden due to the fact that they will have to collect and process a lot of data.
The cost of advertising may rise, because the new regulation does not give an answer at whose expense the data collection will take place.
For the majority of market participants, almost nothing will change at the moment: the monthly shutdown of flights will be supplemented by a new accounting procedure, says Andrey Bezrukov, COO of Blondinka.ru. In the long term, the rules for conducting large tenders may change and, possibly, the procedure for confirming the results of campaigns in the closing documents.

“The creation of a large, unified database carries with it increased business risks in the event of a leak. I recommend that advertisers take into account in their marketing strategy that placement tactics, volumes and purchase prices may suddenly become public, ”the expert warns.

Artem Groza, director of the Boutique Demis Group business unit, believes that the amendments will not affect the work of independent advertisers, but may increase the burden on advertising agencies. MediaNation agrees that the significant increase in bureaucratic burden will be felt by everyone – both clients and agencies.

“Most likely, the state of both those and others will have a separate type of responsibility – for interacting with Roskomnadzor and adding data to a single system, you may have to hire new employees for this,” warns Marina Shakhova, Marketing Director of MediaNation.

What digital agencies and aggregators ask to consider
At a minimum, the requirement for intermediaries to provide information should be removed if they are not distributors themselves, according to Completo. Marketing Director Yaroslav Smirnov believes that large IT companies will more easily transfer the implementation of the system, since they already own the information that Roskomnadzor plans to aggregate and will be able to automate the transfer of this data to the department. Enforcement of the law will place a greater burden on agencies.

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