Commercial promotions are often an essential part of companies’ marketing strategies, as a way of getting noticed and bringing more emotion to the relationship with the user. Despite significant societal and technological development, the Brazilian legislation regulating commercial promotions is from 1971, and provides for a quite traditional and bureaucratic approach in this area.

Regardless of how they are executed (through social media, in webinars or otherwise), commercial promotions must follow the exact same authorization procedure in Brazil. The only exceptions are promotions made by the government or related to cultural contests, which do not need approval.

The good news is that the process is carried out entirely online. Therefore, any tax compliant company, engaged in commercial, industrial or real estate activity, may request approval of its commercial promotion before the relevant body (the Secretaria de Avaliação, Planejamento, Energia e Loteria – SECAP).

Ideally, the request should be made between 40 to 120 days before the starting date of the promotion, considering that the company will only be able to start the promotion once the certificate has been issued. In fact, the certificate number must always appear in a legible manner in all advertising materials for the campaign.

It is important to pay attention to the requirements of the legislation at all times, as the activities are subject to inspection by the competent body and penalties may be applied for non-compliance.