Russia - Commercial Guide
Trade Promotion and Advertising

Includes web links to local trade fair or show authorities and local newspapers, trade publications, radio/TV/cable information.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

Television, radio, print, and billboard advertising are ubiquitous in the Russian market.  Most international advertising agencies are active in Russia along with domestic counterparts. 

The Association of Communication Agencies (ACAR) estimated Russia’s advertising market at 469 billion rubles ($7.3 billion) in 2018, up 13% growth in 2017.  Accounting for the production of creative products, advertising goods, and payment for agency services, the total value of marketing communications is estimated at 810-830 billion rubles.

The following summary of 2017 Russian advertising market performance was derived from the Russian Association of Communication Agencies experts.  The numbers from 2011-2016 have been compiled by CS Russia from Russian Association of Communication Agencies reports.

Segments2018 (Rubles, billions)2017 (Rubles, billions)2016 (Rubles, billions)2015 (Rubles, billions)2014
(Rubles, billions)
(Rubles, billions)
(Rubles, billions)
Inc. Terrestrial Television179.8165.6146.9134.2155.7152.2139.9
Incl. Media Advertisingn/an/an/a18.719.120.117.9
Contextual Advertisingn/an/an/a78.365.551.638.4
Incl. Newspapersn/av8.
Advertising Periodicals7.2n/a3,
Outdoor Advertising43.833,831,43240.640.737.7

Source: 35TAssociation of Communication Agencies in Russia35T

Social Networking
Russia is Europe’s largest Internet market by number of users, with over 109.6 million people.  76% of the population has internet access.  Both Russian and Western social networking sites are growing in popularity, especially among users from younger demographic groups. Between January 2018-January 2019, Russia gained 2 million active social media users (+3.3%). In comparison, that figure for the United States remained unchanged. The most active social media platforms (including messaging apps) in Russia are YouTube, VKontakte (VK), and WhatsApp.

According to Statista, one of the most frequently updated sources of social media statistics, in Q2-Q3 2018, YouTube was the most actively used social network in Russia (85% of respondents), Vkontakte was the second most used at 83%. The global leader,

Facebook, was only the 7th most actively used social media platform in Russia, with 39% . Skype and WhatsApp dominate among instant messengers.

The most prominent trend in social media use was the rapid increase in popularity of Instagram among Russian users. According to AiTarget, the official ad distributor for Instagram and Facebook in Russia, at the end of 2018, Russia ranked 6th in the world and 1st in Europe for the number of active Instagram users. In December 2018, Instagram was visited by 16 million Russian users.

LinkedIn had approximately 6 million Russian users before it was blocked in 2016 by Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor.  LinkedIn was blocked after it failed to transfer Russian user data to servers located in the country, violating the 2014 data localization law, which requires all online sites to store Russian citizens’ personal data on computer servers situated in Russia.