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18 December 2015

Rose To Launch First Public Relations Agency In Cuba


Plans to run first Cuban marketing & media summit in 2016

Moscow-based Rose (Rose Marketing Ltd.) announced today its plans to be among the first marketing firms to launch its services in Havana, where it hopes to eventually expand into a full service public relations, advertising, media and marketing services group.  Rose has gained extensive knowledge about doing business on the island by working with Cuba-related companies over the years, but this will be its first step at launching an agency there. 

Rose has a history of jumping into untested markets.  It was also the first independent marketing agency to launch in the Soviet Union in 1989 when founder, John Rose, opened an outpost of his USA-based agency in Moscow. “Many companies will need our unique global and emerging market expertise in Havana,” said Rose General Director, Galina Savina, who is integrating the agency’s international expertise with a well-trained local Cuban team. 

Cuba currently has little to no advertising or public relations and so far prohibits mass media from accepting ads. However, marketing is becoming more important to Cuban State enterprises, international joint ventures and to the new, fast growing private sector businesses.  Rose plans to use its first-mover strategy to ensure it is positioned to grow as the Cuban market for its services takes-off.

From a marketing communications standpoint, Cuba is in much the same state as Russia was when Rose came to Moscow in the late 1980’s.  In Russia Rose erected some of the first billboards, drew talent from the film industry to create some of the first commercials on Russian television, painted the first ads on busses and trolleys and ran the first promotions and contests.  “We also began one of the first public relations agencies in the country,” said Savina. “To the extent the government permits us, we will do the same in Cuba.”

Though the Cuban Government has so far been reluctant to allow mass media advertising, “It is inevitable that Cuba’s leaders will lower barriers to marketing communications because it is essential to economic growth in a competitive marketplace,” said Savina.

The agency has already begun working in Havana as it did in Moscow: by installing a representative to explore opportunities, establishing a local team, advising it’s clients on how best to enter the market, making business introductions and developing localized marketing programs. "Doing business in Cuba requires more than simply a knowledge of Spanish. It requires a strong familiarity with the local culture, and collective consciousness, and most important, the understanding of how best to apply international expertise in an emerging and unpredictable market,” said Savina. 

The agency also plans to run Cuba’s first Marketing & Media Summit in Havana during the first half of 2016 together with other Cuban and international sponsors.  Dates and details to be announced early in the new year.

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