Decree Proclaiming Advertising a State Monopoly

Written: November 7/20, 1917
First Published: lzvestiia, No. 219, November 21, 1917, p. 3.
Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, The Bolshevik revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and materials, Stanford University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934, pp. 222-223.
Translated: Emanuel Aronsberg
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: 2017

1. Paid advertisements in periodical publications, booklets, posters, advertisements in news-stands, bureaus, etc., are declared to be a state monopoly.

2. Such advertisements may be printed only in the publications of the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government at Petrograd and in the publications of the local Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies. Publications inserting advertisements without authority are to be closed.

3. Until it [advertising] is taken over by the state newspaper owners, managers of advertising offices and all employees in such or similar offices are required to remain at their work, will be held responsible for its order and continuation of business, for the turning over to Soviet publications of all private advertisements, and of all money collected for advertising, and for a full documentary account.

4. In order to organize more efficiently and properly the business of private advertising in Soviet publications as well as to draw up better regulations for the benefit of the public in advertising, all those in charge of offices that accept advertisements for money, as well as their employees and workers, should meet in their cities and join first the city unions and later the All-Russian Unions.

5. Persons guilty of concealing documents or money and of disregarding sections 3 and 4 above are punishable by confiscation of property and three years in prison.

6. Paid advertisements in private publications in the form of accounts, articles, or other disguises are punishable in the manner [indicated in section 5].

7. The government is confiscating advertising offices and is ready in case of need to compensate the owners by temporary help. Small owners, depositors, and stockholders of confiscated offices are to be compensated in full for what they have invested.

8. All publishing houses, offices, and, in general, all business undertakings dealing with advertisements must furnish at once to the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies accurate information as to their location, and must proceed to hand over their affairs. Those failing to do so will be punished as indicated in section 5.


President of the Soviet of People's Commissars


People's Commissar of Education