When you visit Warsaw, you won’t see people queuing for bread and
potatoes. And you’ll get short shrift from Rupert Slade, media planning
director for Initiative Media, if you say you expected to.
’I get fed up with visitors who have that image of the place. Poland is
one of Europe’s most dynamic and important media markets; there are 40
million consumers here. Clients demand a very high-quality service.
’Poland’s done extraordinarily well during the past ten years, even
better than the Czech Republic and Hungary. Warsaw is virtually the same
as any other major European city. There’s a great sense of style and a
show of wealth. If anything, things move more rapidly. What takes five
years anywhere else happens in one here.
’The climate is extraordinary. There are long Mediterranean summers with
temperatures of around 35 degrees, then for six months there’s snow,
freezing cold weather and temperatures of minus 20. Hardly surprising
that during the winter the Poles are the heaviest TV viewers in Europe,
which affects advertising.
’People are very honest about the way they feel. Go to a client party
and you never know how things will go. It can take three hours to warm
up but then everyone will have a great time.
’Polish is a difficult language, but I’m learning. Most business people
speak English. I’ve been here two years and I love it.’