A Moscow shopping center used Moomins in its advertisement without permission – the news about the “banning of Moomins” spread like wildfire in the Russian media

A Moscow shopping center used Moomins in its advertisement without

“Even the Moomins left Russia,” wrote one of the publications. However, Moomin Characters tells that no new usage licenses for Russia have been granted for another year.

18:02•Updated 18:16

In Russian Vpost media reported (you will switch to another service) today that Moomin Characters no longer grants licenses for the use of Moomin characters in Russia. In Russia, the matter has become a real news bomb, and it has been widely reported in the neighboring country. They wrote about it elsewhere Meduza (you will switch to another service), Fontanka (you switch to another service), Argument i fakti (you switch to another service)-afternoon newspaper, RBK (you switch to another service)– news agency and Moskovski Komsomolets (switch to another service)– afternoon newspaper.

Many newspapers used raffle headlines in their news, such as: “Moomins are banned from Russian children – the sanctions also apply to fairy-tale characters (you will switch to another service)“, “A Finnish-Russian scandal has flared up because of the Moomins (you switch to another service)“, “Even the Moomins left Russia (you switch to another service)“.

CEO of Moomin Characters Roleff Kråkström however, tells that the decision to end the business in Russia was already made in the spring of last year.

According to him, the uproar across the border is due to the fact that last week Moomin Characters blocked the Moomin event, which had been widely marketed in Russia. However, permission for the event had not been obtained from the Finnish brand owners.

– We immediately asked our lawyers to prevent the event, in which they also succeeded. The event was cancelled, says Kråkström.

“Moomin is a really well-known figure in Russia”

The illegal use of Moomin characters was noticed by the Russian agency Brand4rent, which was previously responsible for licensing Moomin Characters in Russia. Company founder and CEO Denis Kulakov tells that the incident was immediately reported to Moomin Characters. It turned out that the Moscow shopping center had no licenses or rights to use Tove Jansson’s book characters.

Kulakov points out that in the past, Russian companies that mainly produced products for children asked for permission to use Moomin characters. However, Kulakov says that violations also occur from time to time.

– Moomin is a really well-known character in Russia. We regularly expose attempts to use Moomin Valley characters without permission. We have several such cases a year, Kulakov states.

“Moomin business can no longer be conducted in Russia”

Kråkström says that last year Moomin Characters asked their agents to completely stop signing new license agreements in the Russian market. The company also refused to renew the contracts.

– We had some existing agreements that were concluded before the war in Ukraine started by Russia. They too have now expired. Moomin business can no longer be conducted in Russia. This also applies to book publishing, summarizes Kråkström.

The CEO of Moomin Characters adds that the economic significance of the Russian business operations has been small.