MOSCOW, June 4 (RAPSI) - A group of State Duma lawmakers proposed a bill that would expand to advertising businesses the controversial law labeling NGOs involved in political activity and funded from abroad as "foreign agents," Izvestia newspaper reported on Thursday.
Owners of advertising companies that have even partial foreign funding and who are directly or indirectly involved in political activity, including social advertising, promotional or election campaigns, should be classified as foreign agents, according to the bill.
The bill concerns owners of outdoor advertising and is necessary because this type of marketing is often used for political purposes, the newspaper cites Yevgeny Fyodorov, one of the authors of the bill, as having said.
Outdoor advertising owners that are classified as foreign agents will have to put a statement on any political advertisement stating that the owner of the ad location is a foreign agent.
Foreign agents would include companies that are involved in election campaigns and other types of political advertising as well as those indirectly involved in covering political activity in Russia. The bill will soon be heard by the State Duma.
Since November 2012, political NGOs funded from abroad have been compelled by law to register as foreign agents.
In June 2013, the Justice Ministry was granted authority to classify NGOs as foreign agents at its own discretion and included a number of organizations in its register.
In February 2013, 11 Russian NGOs lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) protesting against the law.