You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

(André Gide about the value of Innovation)

The quote above expresses the essence of innovation: seizing new opportunities. Whether we like it or not, retail and service companies have an important role to play in the functioning of modern day western societies. Spanning from giant billboards in crowded squares to discreet flyers handed out at the exit of your local grocery store, companies continuously find new ways of letting the potential client know about their presence, their offers and of course, trying to lure them into their shops or businesses.

In this three part article you will find a description of the standard promotional campaigns as vehicles to help gain/consolidate clientele, along with the specific types of clauses one can find in the rules and regulations used by companies in promotional campaigns. 

In their commercial pursuits entrepreneurs often use different tactics in order to gain more clientele. From a legal perspective, in their endeavours to successfully participate in the wider commercial circuit, enterprises have to abide by the applicable laws and regulations. As all companies are invested in gaining as much visibility and public acknowledgement as possible, companies have the legal possibility of organising a variety of campaigns and contests in order to raise their visibility and market share, including different types of promotional campaigns. When organising a promotional campaign a company seeks to offer their clients discounts, vouchers, gifts or other advantages as a means to reward and improve client fidelity.

A promotional campaign can be defined as the process of communicating with and engaging present or potential clients. The information passed on to the clients has to be relevant and should use effective means of communication in order to allow the sender and the target audience to reach common ground (

Go solo or find partners

Marketing and bartering. It may sound counter-intuitive to offer another brand’s products or services through promotion via a social contest, but doing so can prove highly beneficial for your on-going marketing efforts. Featuring another company’s products as a giveaway item is essentially a form of affiliate marketing, whereby two brands benefit from a shared campaign (

We have seen many examples where companies join resources in order to gain more clients. In such cases the promotional campaign can be the result of a barter agreement between two or more companies. Travel agencies often associate with retailers in promotional campaign projects. A travel agency could gain a benefit from being associated with a retailer as a retailer has constant direct connection with the public and has the power to present the travel agencies services. One can see that this particular type of agreement is successful when analysing the traveling agency’s resources. The association agreement between the two can incorporate many forms. The essence of the retailer’s obligations should be that of making the association with the travel agency and the prizes known to the public in as many and diverse ways possible, whereas the travel agency will provide the prizes, normally consisting in free vacations. The public will be intrigued to shop at the retailers store seeing that there is a chance of winning a free vacation, whereas the travel agency will further grow its notoriety and bring its many offers to the public’s attention. This is a classic win (retailer) – win (travel agency) – win (public) situation.

A great number of promotional campaigns are solo projects of the benefitting/organising company.  Promotional products have been around a long time and are still widely used today. Researches show that the best promotional products are real and inexpensive advertising solutions ( In such cases the campaign will be planned out in detail through the main governing document: The rules and regulations of the campaign. Many industries push forwards products on a recurrent yearly or even seasonal basis. In these cases a promotional campaign may help not only to gain new customers, but also to emphasize the flagship products and maximize their sale. For example a shoes retailer can offer certain pairs for free or at a promotional price upon the acquisition of one of the new models. Of course, the campaign rules and prizes can be tailored to the specific needs and plans of each company in order to allow multilateral advantages. In the case of the shoes manufacturer certain models can be selected for the campaign (offered for free or at a discount) and the customer could, for example, in order to benefit from the campaign, acquire the new models from the new collection only. Apart from the marketing benefits, the retailer will also have an opportunity to transform unpromising stocks intro profit.

In part two we will present two more examples of promotional campaigns and take a deeper look at the applicable Romanian legal provisions.