Our International Marketing Principles
We agree that our industry should be regulated, but we also think we should be able to communicate in a responsible way with adult consumers about our tobacco and nicotine products.
For a business like ours, it is imperative that we provide clear and meaningful information about the different risk profiles of our products to help consumers make informed choices.
Ensuring we market our products responsibly to adult consumers only is also key.
For conventional tobacco products such as cigarettes, which pose such serious health risks, our marketing is governed by our International Marketing Principles wherever they are sold around the world, often going beyond local legal requirements.
The International Marketing Principles comprise four core principles which we believe are at the heart of responsible marketing of conventional tobacco products. The rationale for each principle is explained and illustrated by a set of core standards, which show how they should be applied in our communications with consumers.
Our four key marketing principles are:
The International Marketing Principles are our minimum standard and will be applied even when they are stricter than local laws. However, if local laws or other voluntary codes in markets are stricter than or override our Marketing Principles, then we will abide by those laws or voluntary codes.
Where local laws are less strict we promote higher standards generally, as well as a level competitive playing field, and ask governments to embody our Principles or similar provisions into local law.
We are committed to 100% IMP compliance worldwide. All our marketing materials have to be formally reviewed and approved by our Legal and External Affairs function and we provide training to our marketing employees and trade representatives, as well as any external agencies we work with, to ensure they are effectively applied.
In 2017, no incidents of IMP non-compliance were identified through our internal procedures. There were, however, two external allegations made about our marketing practices in relation to local tobacco control and advertising laws. We conducted detailed investigations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Where any instances of non-compliance are identified, immediate action plans are put in place to address them.
We welcome information from anybody who believes that any of our companies are not living up to the Principles. You are welcome to send any concerns through Contact us.
With all our Vapour Products (e-cigarettes), we have voluntarily adopted appropriate warnings on all our packaging and a robust approach to manufacturing quality and product assessment, including for all ingredients and flavours.
Our Vapour Products Marketing Principles provide a responsible and consistent approach to all of our marketing activities for this important category.
Our four core principles are:
Snus is finely-ground moist tobacco that comes either loose or in tiny pouches, which are placed under the upper lip. It contains nicotine in similar quantities to cigarettes.
We believe there is sufficient scientific evidence to support a less restrictive regime for snus, on the basis of its potentially lower health risk when compared to cigarettes. A separate set of marketing standards have been introduced specifically for snus.
We continue to seek dialogue with regulators and health authorities about how the attributes of potentially less harmful products might be communicated to consumers.
The guidelines that govern our business
Policies, principles and standards
Our role in preventing youth access to our products
Youth access prevention
British American Tobacco is one of the world’s most international businesses and many of its Group companies have their own websites.
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