The advertising sector in Romania has developed and gained in importance in the 1990s as a market economy has emerged. Romania’s advertising companies have basically started from nothing, but many have developed into full-fledged advertising agencies offering a number of services.
The present day advertising industry has come a long way. Ten years ago, the distribution system was virtually non-existent. Entire villages were isolated and lacked access to even the most basic necessities, such as toothpaste and soap (many households used to manufacture their own soap). The Romanian consumer had to be educated and accustomed to the new form of “propaganda”. In terms of education, familiarity with freedom of choice and disposable income, Romanians had and still had and still have yet to develop into consumers in the full Western sense’.

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International companies competing for the Romanian consumers were probably among the first to use advertising as a marketing communication tool. Immediately following the 1989 Revolution, the international companies present on the market used “grass roots” approaches to making their presence visible. KENT cigarettes certainly took advantage of the wide popularity and viewership of the American soap opera “Dallas” by placing numerous commercials during the show. Colgate Palmolive sponsored schools to talk to children about dental hygiene and had an overwhelming presence in the media. Coca-Cola, another big player, had increased its brand awareness through point-of-sale stickers, free promotional merchandise (such as umbrellas, T-Shirts, caps, etc), sponsorship of numerous sporting events and so on.

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