PMI stops social media marketing for the accusation of promoting sales with influencers

PMI, the world’s largest tobacco manufacturer, has suspended all marketing activities in global social media.

PMI, the world’s largest tobacco manufacturer, has suspended all marketing activities in global social media.

PMI said they had conducted an internal investigation into marketing posts and photos sent by Reuters from its company last week in a statement, involving a Russian social influencer under 25 years old. The statement said, “We have decided to stop all the global marketing activities of influencer related promotion. Although the influencer is a legal adult smoker, she is under 25 years old, which obviously violates the standard.”

According to PMI’s internal marketing standards, it is forbidden to promote the company’s tobacco products with influencers favored by young people or models under the age of 25. At the beginning of this year, the CEO of the company, Karan Zopoulos, also vowed that “we don’t and will not sell our products to young people now”. However, a Reuters survey found that the company used young influencers to sell its new “Heat not burn products”. These influencers call “Heat not burn product” a “safer alternative to cigarettes, and a beautiful fashion accessory”.

In an advertisement that caught Reuters’attention, a Moscow girl named Elena held the heat not burn tobacco device, but her social account showed that she was only 21 years old. Reuters assessed the company’s marketing activities on social media in Japan, Italy, Switzerland and Russia, and found that Elena, a slender young girl addicted to high-end life, was the company’s typical marketing ambassador for heat not burn tobacco products. Elena wrote on her social media account in April this year, “I finally have a new generation of PMI heat not burn, and finally can confidently change myself… The harmful substance grade of the product is 90% lower than that of smoking. Have you ever changed your device yet?”

The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating the use of social media platforms such as Facebook,Youtube by British and American tobacco companies to promote their e-cigarettes after receiving complaints from anti-smoking advocates such as the Smokeless Children’s Campaign, the London Standards Evening News reported earlier. British law prohibits the promotion of e-cigarettes on social media sites, the marketing of cigarette products to people under the age of 18, and the advertising of tobacco for people under the age of 25.


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