We believe that manufacturers and retailers of tobacco products should be entitled to communicate appropriately with adults who choose to consume tobacco. Our marketing practices are designed to attract adult smokers to our brands. It is not intended to persuade people, whether adults or youth, to begin or continue smoking.
British American Tobacco has adopted a set of globally consistent International Marketing Principles that embody, in detail, a commitment to marketing appropriately to adult smokers only. The Standards are aimed at ‘raising the bar’ by establishing a benchmark for the industry worldwide. In some countries, it is stricter than local laws.
The Marketing Principles comprise four core principles which we believe are at the heart of responsible tobacco marketing. The reationale 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.
The Core Principles
Our four core principles are:
1. Our marketing will not mislead about the risks of smoking
2. We will only market our products to adult smokers.
3. We will not seek to influence the consumer's decision about whether or not to smoke, nor how much to smoke.
4. It should always be clear to our consmers that our advertising originates from a tobacco company and that it is intended to promote the sale of our tobacco brands.
The Marketing Principles apply to the marketing of all British American Tobacco's combustible tobacco products.
We will monitor and audit our performance against the Marketing Principles and report our findings in the Group's Sustainability Report.
Download a copy of International Marketing Principles:
- International Marketing Principles v2 (190 kb)
Before we launched our original International Marketing Standards in 2001, our marketing had been guided for many years by our Group Advertising Principles. These had set out, for example, that any advertising and promotional activities by our companies would be directed at adult smokers, that no heatlh claims would be made about tobacco products, that people appearing in advertising would not be, or appear to be, younger than 25, and more.
The launch of the Standards built on these further, incorporating further guidance to reflect the changing marketing landscape. In line with the Standards, we also exited from tobacco brand sponsorship of Formula One racing after honouring commercial commitments to December 2006, although not all our competitors did.
In 2007, the Standards were updated to include, for example, more detail on procedures to be followed for adult verification and the responsible use of new and emerging channels of consumer communication. The launch of the new International Marketing Principles in 2012 continues this commitment to ensuring our marketing guidance is relevant and reflects the developments in marketing, technology, regulations and stakeholder expectations.
Auditing Group companies’ adherence
Adherence to the Standards is continuously monitored by British American Tobacco's internal audit teams and reviewed by regional audit committees, which include Non-Executive Directors, other members of the British American Tobacco Board and members of the Management Board. Any material issues are referred to the Board Audit Committee in London.
We welcome information from anybody, via our contact us page, from anybody who believes that British American Tobacco South Africa is not living up to the Standards.