Last night in Bucharest

Back in Bucharest I went for a candlelit meal with Cristina  - a local powercut meant the food had to be ordered and eaten mostly in darkness. And then I finally caught up with Felix Tartaru – founder of GMP and chair of the IAA. A meeting which started at 11.30pm and continued for an hour – a good time for uninterrupted chat across a wide range of topics.

Itsybitsyradio_2 He gave me a lift back to the hotel and as he did so said Have you heard about our radio station? It turned out I had – it had been a discussion point in the IAA advertising school. Itsy Bitsy is the only radio station in Europe aimed at  children. Which Felix had started as a project with his wife.  He described his frustration at the kind of television his children were watching and his desire to give them something that wouldn’t keep their eyes glued to screens for hours. Radio seemed an ingenious solution. The appalling traffic in most Romanian cities means that parents and children can often be sitting in traffic for hours a day. So grownups opt to have Itsy Bitsy on the radio to keep the children entertained and quiet. A captive audience – brilliant. Listening to music, stories and plays.  They operate in 5 cities now but intend to roll out to the other cities by the end of the year. The goal is to cover the whole of Romania within a couple of years. There are a few surprises though – Coca cola, Pepsi and McDonalds aren’t allowed. This station has strict editorial control over who is allowed to advertise. Money talks but it appears not at Itsy Bitsy. They are just extending to products the first being a fruit juice without additives.  As Felix described it This project is food for our souls – that’s why we do it.

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