New regulations for advertising campaigns

The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 92/2014 for the regulation of fiscal budget measures has been published in the Official Gazette of Romania on the date of December 30th 2014.

Among the modifications made, we can also mention those of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 77/2009 regarding the organization and operation of gambling businesses. Such alterations are valid as of February 13th 2015.

One of the most surprising amendments is the determination of the competence of the National Gambling Authority(„ONJN”) to exert control and surveillance over the operations meant for the promotion of goods and services among consumers.

As a result, pursuant to the new legislative framework, business operators who organize advertising campaigns or any other operations “for the purpose of stimulating sales, free of any entrance or admission charges, which means that participants are not supposed to bear any additional costs or any raise of the price that the product has previously had, before such advertising campaign has been organized” are bound to obtain an approval from the Surveillance Committee of ONJN.

As a result, any professional who, starting with February 13th 2015 wishes to make use of one of the regular methods of sales increase among consumers, in order to promote its goods and / or services, has to consider such new requirements and prerequisites.

Any failure to comply with the obligation of obtaining the approval of ONJN is considered contravention and it can be punished by a fine ranging between RON20,000 and 40,000.

Still, the Government Emergency Ordinance 92/2014 does not establish any procedure to be followed or any deadlines for ONJN’s approval. Such rules shall be established by methodology implementation regulations that are to be approved by the Government until March 14th 2015.

Given the fact that practices for stimulating sales (promotional or advertising campaigns) are frequently used by business operators, one can anticipate that such new requirements will generate an important impact on the activity of business operators, at least until the procedure to be followed is clarified, as well as the necessary documents and the deadlines for obtaining the approval ofONJN. Moreover, such procedure will be time and resource consuming.

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