British American Tobacco (BAT) Russia is currently running a series of ads promoting a tour of Japan for smokers of Kent cigarettes. As part of the advertising campaign images are shown of the South Kuril Islands, which Russia annexed from Japan after WWII.
"The ad violates legislation, which does not allow advertisers to abuse people's patriotic sentiments," said Andrei Kashevarov, the watchdog's deputy chief and head of its expert board.
Kashevarov said they had received complaints about the advertisements from consumers.
The dispute over a chain of Pacific islands, known in Japan as the Northern Territories, has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a formal postwar peace deal and consolidating ties.
In Russia, BAT sells Dunhill, Kent, Vogue, Rothmans, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Viceroy and some Russian blends, with almost all of them produced in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Saratov. The company has run offices in Russia since 1991.