Russian authorities find Google in breach of advertising laws over Ali Trade ad

Maria Nikolova

Russia’s FAS concluded that Google LLC violated the Law on Advertising by distributing financial services ads for Ali Trade.

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has found that Google LLC violated the Law on Advertising by distributing financial services ads for Ali Trade via Google AdWords.

According to the investigation into a complaint against Ali Trade’s ads, when googling “profitable investments”, Google returned an ad about investments offered by Ali Trade. The regulator considers that the ad leads the public to believe that Ali Trade is an investment fund, whereas Ali Trade, in fact, does not have the necessary license.

That is why, FAS determined that the ad is in breach of advertising laws. FAS has issued an instruction to Google LLC to put an end to the violation.

The regulator is also preparing administrative proceedings against Google LLC that may lead to a fine from RUB 100,000 to RUB 500,000.

Russia’s FAS is rather active when it comes to tackling illegal financial ads online. In July this year, for instance, FAS said it had launched a probe into ads of online trading company InstaForex distributed via Yandex. The problematic advertising message says “InstaForex- official website – broker licensed by the Central Bank”. The authorities then reminded the public that an entity cannot advertise services and products that it is not licensed to offer.

FAS concluded that InstaForex did not have the necessary license by the Central Bank of Russia. Hence, the ads in question violated the Law on Advertising.

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