History31 mai 2016
Portugal, late 60’s, early 70s.
The fine opening, that marks the consulate of Marcello Caetano as president of the Council allows that some associations are organized and constituted.
It is this apparent wind of change that arises SEDES, civic association committed to the analysis about aspects of citizenship and attentive to very serious imbalances in the Portuguese society. Their action is crucial in the debut of defending the rights of consumers in Portugal - in 1971, SEDES organized the first symposium on the protection of consumers and the critical and falling of purchasing power of the Portuguese citizens.
Over the next three years, matures the idea of create an organization that represents and defends the Portuguese consumers. It is in this process that is born DECO, registered February 12th of 1974, just a few weeks before the 25th of April and the historic turning point in the country, leading Portugal to democracy.
And it will be, oddly enough, on the first Saturday after the Revolution that DECO will make its first action on the field - the analysis of prices of a basket with 31 products, valued on the same day in two supermarkets - a study that would become a reference of the organization and an important indicator for Portuguese consumers.
A National Association
The first structure of DECO is based in some working groups with different missions, but that already indicate the extent of its future intervention: product and advertising analysis, legal support to consumers, preparation launch of a newsletter and regional expansion of the organization.
The end of the 70s marks a decisive phase - in January 1979, DECO launched in to the Journeys about Consumer Protection. The results exceed the highest expectations. The organization of these debates has the effect of awakening the Portuguese consumers to the defense of consumers’ rights. In a year, the number of associates quintuples. It is created the environment for the launch of Proteste.
The 80s marked the awareness of consumers. DECO expands its services and its bridges with consumers. There is already a Proteste magazine. And on television comes the first television show about consumer defense in Portugal, the "Cat by Hare".
The Public television had censored the program on the presence of disguised advertising in Vila Faia soap opera, produced by RTP (Portuguese Public Television). Cat by Hare ended.
DECO increasingly closer to consumers
The entrance of the 90s is crucial to the growth of the Association and the magazine.
From the first edition of 2,500 copies, Proteste reaches more than two hundred thousand copies per edition, during the 90s. In 1991, is published the number 100 of Proteste. A year earlier, the continued growth of DECO magazine, justify the creation of the Publisher - EDIDECO; today DECO PROTESTE, responsible for several publications (Proteste, Dinheiro e Direitos, Teste Saúde, Proteste Investe and thematic guides), which have become indispensable in defending the rights of Portuguese consumers.
The next decade is crucial to DECO statement as a truly national organization, deployed in various districts of the country.
By the year 2000 delegations of the Association are created or consolidated, regional structures that allowed an increase in our public intervention and reinforced the proximity to the consumer.
The Association becomes, for consumers, the final court of appeal for the restitution of their rights. The Department of Studies, part of the Department of Studies and Consumer Support is the natural step in the growth of the entire structure, making even harder the work. Hear consumers, accompanies them and, above all, defend and represents them.
Along the way, DECO ESCOLA and DECO JOVEM reinforce our commitment to work for a generation of more informed consumers more aware of their rights and the existing mechanisms for its affirmation and defense.
The Support Office of Over-indebted is another service with our brand, it reflects our growing concern of trying to answer to the latest financial problems.
A mobilizing organization
Throughout all these years, we feature, too, the debate on the defense of consumer rights, anticipating many of the crucial moments of our consumer society, we feature the economic and social life of the Portuguese consumers, contributing to solving future problems, such as food safety, the entry of Portugal in the European Community and the introduction of the euro.
In 1999, during the 25th anniversary, DECO organizes the International Seminar "25 years - on consumer protection", which has the presence of several important people, national and international, involved in the defense of consumers’ rights.
At the same time, the Association sees openly recognized his work and receives from the President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio, the Medal of the Order of Merit of the Portuguese State.
In 2003, DECO organized the 17th World Congress of Consumers International, which brings together more than six hundred leaders of the movement of consumers around the world, representing 104 countries.
The celebrations of the 35th anniversary, in 2009, DECO performs the International Seminar - "The Business Administration of big companies, the Regulatory Entities and the Interests of Consumers".
Already in 2014, 40 years passed on its foundation, DECO organized an International Conference under the general theme - "The new consumer. Trends for the future. " This year is also marked by the stimulation movement of consumer protection in the countries of Portuguese Speaking, giving rise to a true international community united for the defense of consumers in different countries - CONSUMARE.
The route that brought us here was not easy, nor attracted the benevolence of public or economic powers. DECO was assumed from the beginning, as a nuisance, always fighting for the defense of consumer rights in a consistent and repeated action that would allow us to gain the confidence of the Portuguese people, our most important capital.
Today, we are more than 400,000. With the growth of our organization grew our responsibilities. We specialized us. Diversify us. We have adapted our structure to the new expectations and desires of consumers.
We have a live and dynamic organization, because it is made up of people who believe that, every day, their work contributes to improve the defense of the rights of Portuguese consumers.
This is our heritage. This will be our legacy.