Reaching the Consumer in Portugal

Overview by

Marketing Opportunities

Growing Sectors
IT services, sectorial software (medical, transport, etc.), travel and tourism, balneology, products and services for senior citizens, telecommunications, books and reviews, automobile parts, cosmetics, education services, high value added textiles, top of the range footwear.
Consumer Behavior
The purchasing behavior of the Portuguese consumer is mainly determined by:
- advertising (TV and radio, due to car journeys)
- the value for money of after-sales service for cars and household appliances
- price (especially for food and hygiene purchases)
- social status symbols (clothes, fashion, cars)
- the environmental aspect is still secondary, but is becoming more important among young people, who are more receptive to the awareness campaigns in the press.
- brand names, associated with this aspect of social status.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Besides peaks times such as Christmas, consumption has slowed down over the last 2 years due to a drop in available income. The increase in taxes, especially VAT (21%), and the high level of debt in Portuguese families (120% of income), limit consumption greatly.
The majority of Portuguese people are conservative, loyal to brands (especially for clothes, less so for foodstuffs). They are impulsive consumers, but less so at the present time, as the level of household debt has reached alarming heights, which is slowing down consumption. Consumer credit harasses the Portuguese with invasive advertising. By tradition, and also through a lack of a real estate rental market, the Portuguese invest in bricks and mortar, and for that they seek a bank loan, and borrow to pay for cars too. A large proportion of monthly household income is usually spent on paying for these services.
Things are changing with regards to preference for domestic or foreign goods; apart from wine and cheese (for which the Portuguese have difficulty choosing imported products), preference is almost always for imported goods. An awareness campaign has recently been launched to encourage people to buy domestic products.
Consumer Recourse to Credit
Consumer credit is increasing all the time, especially for tourism. The Portuguese usually own their homes, by taking out a bank loan. Banks readily offer credit cards and consumer credit institutions are everywhere.
Consumers Associations
DECO , The Portuguese association for the defense of the consumer

Media in Which to Advertise

Television advertising has great influence on consumer behavior. Showing an advertisement during the games or series ("telenovelas") on early evening TV will reach the biggest numbers of viewers.

Main Televisions
RTP Group (RTP1, RTP2)
Groupe Prisa (TVI)
Advertising published in newspapers helps sway consumer's purchasing decisions and informs them of special offers. It is influential because the reader can assimilate it in their own time.
Mail is having a bigger and bigger impact, especially on young people. Mailshots are done by e-mail now, which has already replaced the fax machine for circulating information. It is not very effective for advertising as people are often inundated by e-mails.
In Transportation Venues
From billboards in the streets, posters on bus shelters, in metro or railway stations, advertising is appearing more and more on the means of transport themselves.

Market Leaders:
JC Decaux Portugal
A large number of Portuguese people take travel to work by car, and the radio is the preferred source of information and advertising during the journey.

Main Radios
List of several Portuguese radio stations
New Technologies (E-Marketing, SMS, etc.)
With mail being filtered, its has a lesser impact but advertising on the screens of ATMs can be effective.

Market Leaders:
Main Advertising Agencies
Publicis Group
MPG / Havas

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Advertising alcohol is prohibited on television and radio between 7 am and 9.30 pm according to the Advertising Code (Chap 2, sect. III, art. 17).
Any advertising for tobacco is prohibited whatever the medium (Advertising Code Chap 2, sect. III, article 18).
Article 19 of Section 3 of the Advertising Code prohibits the advertising of medecines even in specialized technical reviews. Consult the INFARMED website, the national authority for medicines and health products.
Other Rules
The Advertising Code also prohibits misleading advertising. Comparative advertising is authorized under certain conditions (art.16,section 2, chp2).
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
Possible under certain conditions.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
Regulating entity for communication (ERC)

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