Romanian consumers remain price sensitive, but product availability and advertising have both been strong tools in raising brand awareness over the last years. Strong competition among beer manufacturers makes alcoholic drinks one of the most dynamic markets in Romania. An indication of the strength of competition is the level of the advertising expenditure, amounting to more than US$38 million for beer alone. Advertising for wine and spirits also increased sharply in the last two years, especially for new brand launches.
Joining the EU in 2007 brought important changes in the alcoholic drinks market as Romania now has to apply the same legislation as the EU.
Advertising of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the Advertising Law no.148/2000, which transposes certain European Union Rules and Regulations in this field. It states that advertising of alcoholic beverages is forbidden within educational institutions and medical care units or under 200 meter from their entrance on a public road.
Also, the advertising of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in publications for minors, in show halls before, during or after shows dedicated to minors. Furthermore, any advertisement is forbidden which addresses directly to minors or shows minors consuming these products. The advertisement which suggests that these products present therapeutic properties, have sedative or stimulant effects or can solve personal problems and which give a negative image about abstinence are also banned.
Advertising of distilled spirits is allowed in Romania only through magazines and newspapers, television and radio. It is forbidden to explicitly advertise on the first and on the last page of a publication, as well as on the travel tickets.
The Code of Regulation of the Audiovisual Content Decision no. 187 of 3 April 2006, regarding advertising, sponsorship and teleshopping was issued taking into account the harm done to minors by alcohol consumption and the fact that from the statistics published by public and private institutions can be concluded that a correlation exists between the increase of alcohol consumption among the minors and of the alcoholic distilled beverages advertising.
The spots that promote distilled spirits will end with the warning, audio and visual: "Excessive alcohol consumption seriously harms the health status".