A new Government Emergency Ordinance no. 25/2013 (“GEO”) published in the Official Gazette of Romania on April 12, 2013 amends the existing Romanian Audio-visual Law no. 504/2002. The new enactment brings changes primarily affecting the current trade conditions of the TV advertising space, as well as the conditions for the issuance/amendment/transfer of audio-visual licenses to third parties.
Stricter rules for the sale-purchase of TV advertising space (in brief):
- Advertising agencies – no more wholesalers: purchase of TV advertising space may be done by an intermediary (advertising agency) only in the name and on behalf of the final beneficiary of advertising, and the latter will pay the purchase price to the TV station directly; therefore, intermediaries are virtually restricted to act as wholesalers of TV advertising space.
- Advertising agencies - special empowerment: advertising agencies may continue to represent their clients in relation to the TV stations, but shall require written power of attorney from the clients in case they ask for a price offer from the TV stations. For the intermediation services provided, the advertising agencies cannot receive any fee from the TV stations.
New requirements for the issuance/ amendment/ transfer of audio-visual licenses:
- Additional documentary requisites for obtaining AV license: with limited exemptions, applicants for audio-video license are now required to submit, in addition to the documentation required until the GEO, a certificate ascertaining that the applicant company has no due obligations to the state budget.
- Lock-up period for transfer of AV licenses: transfer of an AV license to third parties is permitted only upon the lapse of a minimum of one year from the date of the first broadcasting.
New rules applicable as of April 12, 2013:
- The GEO does not provide any specific date for entering into force; therefore, the enactment is applicable from the day of its publication, i.e., April 12, 2013. Furthermore, the GEO provides that the Audio-visual Law shall be republished, but only after Parliament has issued the law approving the new enactment.