For many years, countries have imposed partial or total bans on tobacco advertising, marketing and promotion. In the vast majority of countries, advertising is no longer permitted on broadcast media such as television and radio. Many countries also have prohibited advertising on billboards and in print media such as newspapers and magazines. Where advertisements are allowed, health warnings are usually mandated.
These rules – bans on advertising and marketing – are not, as many people mistakenly believe, limited to the EU and other “developed” countries. In fact, broad-based bans on tobacco advertising are common throughout the world today. Bans exist in countries such as Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Gambia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.
While we do not agree with total bans on marketing because we do not agree that advertising causes people to smoke, we have been a strong advocate for regulations limiting tobacco product marketing. Like many in the public health community, we believe that regulations restricting advertising and marketing are more effective than voluntary codes. That’s because regulation, if enforced, can ensure that all companies follow the same rules.
We strongly believe, however, that the ability for manufacturers to market their products to adult smokers is fundamental to vigorous competition and that it is important for adult smokers to be able to receive information on the available product range and on their preferred product choice. In our view, regulations can strike the right balance between effectively limiting tobacco product marketing and preserving the ability of tobacco companies to communicate with adult smokers.
Marketing is one of Philip Morris International’s great strengths, and it remains a core pillar of our competitive strategy.
Our marketing practices are based on three fundamental principles:
- We do not market to children or use any images or content that might appeal to minors.
- We put health warnings on all our marketing materials and packaging.
- All our marketing respects global standards of decency as well as local cultures, traditions and practices.
Here are a few examples of what these rules mean for our day-to-day marketing practices:
- We do not use cartoons, youth-oriented celebrities or models under age 25 in our advertising.
- We do not advertise on the front or back cover of any print publications for general circulation.
- We do not engage in product placement in movies or on television - in fact, we routinely decline all such requests.
- We do not place the names or logos of our cigarette brands on any promotional items that are likely to be used by minors.