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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputies Urge Curbs on TV and Print Sex Ads

Television and print ads for sexual services and products could soon be curbed drastically after a group of United Russia State Duma deputies proposed a series of changes to advertising legislation, Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Katrenko said Thursday.

"We are all witnesses to the fact that providers of sexual and erotic services have rapidly increased their activity," Katrenko, a co-author of the amendments, said in a statement.

The amendments were due to be considered on Thursday by the Duma's Committee for Economic Policies, Business and Tourism, reported.

Under the amendments, advertising for sexual services, products or shows would be banned from all publications not dedicated specifically to sex, Katrenko said. He said any publication containing sex ads would have to state the fact clearly on the front cover.

"It will become impossible for average, youth-orientated or normal periodicals to impose sexual or simply erotic frolicking on citizens," he said.

Marina Ryzhkova, a lawyer at Salans, said that if the changes did come into effect, they could affect most publications featuring ads for sexual services. "It would not be possible to publish any sexual information in the so-called normal or common mass media," Ryzhkova said.

The amendments would also affect television, with late-night ads for erotic cell phone pictures, SMS chats and phone sex cut back, Katrenko said. Such ads, currently only permitted from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., would be further limited to spots from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Deputy Vera Oskina, a co-signatory of the amendments, agreed with Katrenko and blamed wider social ills.

"Since perestroika, many commercials of a sexual character have appeared on our screens that propagate murder, cruelty and rape at time when children are not yet asleep," Oskina said. "Every day, pensioners and war veterans come to deputies and ask when we will take murder and sex off our screens."

"As yet, we are unable to control the Internet," she said. "Small children ... look for the Mona Lisa and instead they find other, very hardcore sexual photos."

But Oskina said it would be hard to ban print sex ads, as many do not advertise sexual services explicitly. "They advertise a massage, but what sort of massage is it?" she said.

Alex Shifrin, director at ad agency The Creative Factory, downplayed the effect of the proposed amendments and said the market for print sex ads was small potatoes anyway. "Those things make pennies compared to full-page adverts from financial consultants," he said.

"They'll come up with some suggestive name that is not directly related to sex, but I think the advertising will still stay strong," Shifrin said.