Russia may make far-reaching changes to its advertising legislation in order to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis now engulfing the country.

RBC Daily and AKTR report that these could include not only the reintroduction of tobacco and alcohol commercials but also the inclusion of ones promoting prescription drugs.

They add that the Ministry of Communications will meet with representatives of the media this month to discuss proposed amendments to the law On Advertising.

Russian broadcasters are predicted to see a 25-30% reduction in their ad revenues in Q1 this year.

Meanwhile, online advertising is believed to have suffered a 30% fall in ad revenues in January.

The Russian Association of Communications Agencies (AKAR) and non-profit partnership Rusbrand, which represents leading advertisers, are pressing for the ban on all alcohol advertising – not just beer – to be lifted.

At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are already the leading advertiser on Russian TV. They spent R16.6 billion (€209.8 million) in the first nine months of 2014, or 18% more than a year earlier.

All told, they provide broadcasters with over 15% of their revenues.