Philip Morris appeal against fine for SMS advertisement dismissed
MOSCOW, May 23 (RAPSI) - The Moscow District Commercial Court has upheld a 150,000-ruble ($2,300) fine issued by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Agency (FAS) against Philip Morris Sales and Marketing Limited, an affiliate of tobacco corporation Philip Morris International in Russia, for distribution of advertisement via short message services (SMS), according to court records.
On October 9, 2015, the Moscow Commercial Court dismissed the company’s lawsuit against FAS. This ruling was upheld on January 25, 2016, by the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals, and was later appealed in the Moscow District Commercial Court.
The Moscow District Commercial Court therefore rejected a cassation appeal lodged by the company.
The fine was issued against Philip Morris Sales and Marketing Limited after a tip from a person, who received a questionable SMS advertisement, had reached the local department of FAS in the Moscow Region. The short message from a sender listed as “Marlboro” read: “Hello, Cyril! Don’t miss your chance to participate in an exciting adventure. The most interesting part begins on April 14. Smoking kills.”
This message was deemed inappropriate by the FAS department on the grounds that it had been sent to a person without prior consent to receive the advertisement. Additionally, FAS experts found out that this message violated Russian legislation on tobacco advertisement. As a result, on March 30, 2015, Philip Morris Sales and Marketing Limited received a fine of 150,000 rubles.