Russian parliamentarian calls to ban beautiful women in adsRussian advertising media may be saying goodbye to any reference to sexual attraction. Strange as it may seem, a Russian parliamentarian calls to ban beautiful women and seductive context in ads.

Oleg Mikheyev from the political party “A Just Russia” wants to prohibit the use of sex appeal in advertisements. Mikheyev believes that sexualized ads featuring men getting attention from beautiful women have a negative impact on morality in society and form wrong ideas in people’s minds.

The parliament is set on discussing the proposed legislative ban on sexualized context in advertising, Russian state news agency TASS reported. Interest to sex should not be exploited, the law’s author insists.

Advertising should not “exploit interest to sex or sexual functions, form frivolous or disrespectful attitude towards sexual functions or to the realization of sexual functions”, the proposed law states.

So, will Russia be returning to “there is no sex in Russia” times or is it just an attempt to attract attention before September 2016 elections?

Russian parliamentarian calls to ban gender attraction in ads

The public reaction to the initiative was quite controversial. But most of the advertising experts believe that it’s just a political stunt.

Mikheyev is known for his provocative proposals. He proposed to ban selling of sneakers and prohibit Russian kids from entering gaming stores. The politician has a bunch of imaginative ideas but none of them had been adopted so far.

This time Mikheyev is worried about Russian advertisers using sex appeal to make consumers buy products, reports. He complains that imagery using the context of gender attraction is directed to sell products ranging from perfume to expensive cars. He believes that such conduct significantly decreases the level of morality in the Russian society and forms disrespect to sexual functions through demonstration of sexualized mages. Mikheyev thinks it’s important to protect the society from inappropriate content.

Besides, the parliamentarian is concerned about the reliability of advertisements. He says that advertisements depict men wearing brand new shoes or drinking instant coffee and this is supposed to attract women’s attention. Does consumption of this particular brand of coffee indeed help to become popular among hot Russian girls? If not, then it means that advertisers deceive people.

Russian parliamentarian Oleg Mikheyev calls to ban beautiful women in ads.

Russian parliamentarian Oleg Mikheyev believes that overly sexualized ads featuring beautiful women have a negative impact on morality in society.

Mikheyev links his complaints to the gender inequality problem as well. He says that in the ads women are often shown as sexualized objects for men to “attain”. They are like second-class citizens, obeying men, the politician states. He also adds that billboards’ imagery may cause road accidents as they divert drivers’ attention away from driving.

Industry reaction

Russian advertising experts believe that Mikheyev’s proposal is unclear and vague, open to various interpretations. This makes it hard to implement. How to determine when the ads are too seductive? Who will be the judge? What are the criteria?

  • Elena Zaritovskaya, a copywriter (author of advertising scenarios) admits that she likes the politician’s idea. She agrees that women often are used as sexualized objects and she finds it offensive. From the other hand, the copywriter does not understand clearly how the new law is supposed to be implemented. Zaritovskaya believes it’s too vague.
  • Maria Arbatova, a writer, believes that the politician’s initiative is important. Arbatova complains that women are being discriminated in advertisements. Young beauties are put next to cars, coffee machines or even shovels. It’s truly an exploitation of a female image, Arbatova adds.
  • Junius Davydov, the head of the advertising agency R&I Group, disagrees. According to, Dadydov is convinced that many aspects of our lives are linked with sex and advertising is one of them. Sex is in art, science, everyday conversations, jokes, and, of course, it is in advertising. Davydov thinks that Mikheyev’s initiative is senseless and will never become a law.
Russian parliamentarian calls to ban beautiful women in ads

European company Suitsupply is often criticised for sexualization of women in their ads. The company even received death threats because of its risqué promotional campaigns.

Suitsupply ad.

Another ad by Suitsupply: Is this too sexy or okay?

Suitsupply ads

In the ads by Suitsupply, men in suits are often portrayed on the background of scantily-clad women. Those are the type of ads that the Russian politician wants banned.

Photos: Screenshots, Suitsupply


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Robert Brouillette
Robert Brouillette

Well I have to say I agree with him. I think a lot of people, both men and women, get tired of having sex, sex apeal, constantly blasted at them. We have the same thing in the USA.