Aploq’s guide to advertising in Poland
As Poland is still pretty new to free trade, the country had to create consumer legislation in 86’ to compensate for the lack up until then. So, what does that mean for companies looking to conquer the Polish market? This week we thought we’d go through all you need to know about advertising in Poland so that when you don’t have any nasty surprises along the way.
As we’ve just mentioned, Poland brought in consumer legislation back in 1986. In 1997, the legislation was amended to include comparative advertising. Under the new directive, any product trying to sell itself by copying another’s style or image, or that in any way deceives the Polish consumers, will be in trouble.
For the main part, Polish advertising regulations follow the EU Directives regarding advertising, and we’ll look at that shortly. Polish consumers don’t like being tricked into buying things. This comes from years of being conservative spenders plus being genuinely distrusting of the unknown. Historically, Poles have only made purchases when needed, but as the country has been getting more affluent, Polish people have come to like buying luxury goods. For more about Polish consumer habits, check out last week’s blog post.
What do you need to know about advertising in Poland?
Be yourself (comparative advertising)
When it comes making ads in Poland, have your own style. If you’re seen as trying to rip off someone else’s branding or make your product appear as if its related to an existing brand or product you’ll be in breach of The Union of Associations Advertising Council. You shouldn’t have to worry about this though. If your product or brand has its own image and hasn’t been in trouble for this before, you shouldn’t have any trouble in Poland.
Be honest (don’t mis-sell, mislead or secretive)
As we mentioned in the last point, if you’re advertising honestly, you shouldn’t have much to fear. But this does include avoiding using hidden advertising. Basically, if you’re you are selling via infomercials, state that it’s an advertisement and not a news show about how great your product is. When it comes to mis-selling or misleading advertising, this should be the same in all EU countries. Poland, however, is slightly different as it takes advertising directives very seriously, with the power to fine a company 4% of the previous year’s profits for serious breaches. But as long as you’re being honest, there’s nothing to worry about.
This comes under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AMSD) which states what can and can’t be done on TV. Almost a decade ago, the AMSD decided to lift the ban on product placement and introduce a max 3hrs a day of advertising slots. They also have a max. 12 minutes advertising an hour, as well as specific codes of conduct when it comes to children’s programmes, but this mainly aims at limiting junk food advertising.
As you might have guessed the EU Tobacco Advertising Directive bans most advertising activities for tobacco products. Tobacco producers are not allowed to sponsor any kind of events, and advertising for anything remotely related to tobacco is also banned in Poland. The only exception is, however, that companies within the tobacco industry are allowed to be in touch via marketing comms.
Even though here in Poland we’re one of Europe’s most alcohol-loving countries, it is illegal to advertise any alcohol other than beer. And for beer, you have to make sure you’re not breaking the following rules:
- Don’t advertise to minors,
- Don’t imply that it’ll make you make you sexier, healthier, smarter or (This is real) succeed in life more
- It’s played on tv, radio or in a cinema after 8 pm
- Don’t put ads in youth publications
- Don’t advertise on the front page of a newspaper or magazine
We know the alcohol laws seem a bit crazy. But the restrictions don’t apply to anywhere that sells alcohol I.E. in a pub or off license. And on the bright side, the alcohol restrictions are pretty relaxed compared to Ireland, where the annual restriction updates restrict the most obscure of things, for example in Ireland it’s illegal to advertise alcohol featuring an animal…. yep, madness!
We hope you’ve found this a useful guide to advertising in Poland, If you are thinking of advertising in Poland, get in touch and find out how we can help 🙂
P.S. Don’t be a pyramid scheme or name your shop “closing down sale” or “liquidation sale”, they won’t be very popular!