No non-Slavs or excessive fun in branded material, says the portal of public services of Russia

The Russian government’s public services portal should avoid showing non-Slavs and excessive amusement in its advertising materials, its brand book which resurfaced on social media this week recommend.

Russian Ministry of Communications admitted Thursday that the 2015 brand book was “inappropriate” and plans to release a new set of guidelines.

The “Gosuslugi” public services portal provides digital public and municipal services to citizens and migrants, including pre-election materials for pensioners and families with children recently announced by President Vladimir Putin.

The 2015 brand book written by the Russian Ministry of Communications publishes a set of recommendations for its advertisements to “reflect the life situations of people who are consumers of public services”.

“When researching photographs, avoid using images of non-Slavic-looking people,” says the Gosuslugi brand book, still accessible on its website.. “Characters in the photo should be similar to people living in Russia.”

Nearly 200 ethnic groups live in Russia’s 11 time zones, with four-fifths of the country’s population belonging to the Slavic ethnolinguistic group.

Online observers compared the Gosuslugi recommendation to notoriousvery xenophobic Apartment rental ads in major Russian cities that explicitly prohibit potential tenants from the North Caucasus regions of Russia and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

The portal’s brand book also asks advertisers to “avoid excessive emotions and collective joy”.

“Avoid comic and anecdotal images of Russian citizens. Images of people in advertising should be in a comfortable and prosperous environment and in an appropriate living situation,” he says.