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Russian annexation of Ukraine prompts UK advertising sanctions


By Hannah Bowler | Senior Reporter

September 30, 2022 | 3 min read

The UK government has banned Russian access to British advertising services in response to the annexation of Ukrainian regions.

Today, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia by referendum. To target Russian economic vulnerabilities foreign secretary James Cleverly has imposed sanctions on British services and exports.


UK government sanctions Russia

Cleverly said: “We will never recognize the results of these sham referendums or any annexation of Ukrainian territory. The Russian regime must be held to account for this abhorrent violation of international law. That’s why we are working with our international partners to ramp up the economic pressure through new targeted services bans.”

The Advertising Association has urged businesses to act to avoid illegal trading. Stephen Woodford, chief executive officer at the Advertising Association said: “UK advertising and marketing businesses still providing services to Russia should urgently take note of the UK government’s announcement today.”

“Companies will be breaking the law if they export advertising and marketing services to Russia or to persons connected to Russia once the legislation comes into force, with limited exceptions,” Woodford said.

Along with advertising, the government has banned IT consultancy services, architectural services, engineering services, transactional legal advisory services and auditing services.

In a statement to The Drum, the trade body said it fully supports the government’s actions and said it would continue to work with the government to “ensure the sanctions have the maximum impact on Putin’s regime whilst minimizing disruption to UK businesses and ensuring legitimate and necessary activity may continue.”

The major holding groups voluntarily ceased trading with Russia at the onset of the invasion, this is the first government-imposed ban.

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