Can you be responsible when you need to compete?
We believe we can. We must compete to be sustainable and we believe that marketing our products in accordance with our International Marketing Standards ensures that we do so responsibly. Not all our competitors follow similar standards and we would like to see a level competitive playing field, so we lobby governments where local laws are not as strict as our Standards.
2009 progress in brief
We have established centres of expertise covering regulation and other marketplace practices to coordinate our efforts and to support a consistent approach across all markets. Our new global youth smoking prevention campaign was launched and we have implemented action plans to close any gaps in adherence to our International Marketing Standards identified in our 2008 Group-wide review. We also successfully trialled a track and trace system to support our efforts to reduce the illicit trade in our cigarettes.
Our 2010 goals
For regulatory engagement
- Engage with governments to put forward our views for effective, evidence-based regulation, including matters arising from their implementation of any Framework Convention on Tobacco Control obligations; and
- Ensure the views and positions we advocate to regulators are reflected on www.bat.com .
For our marketing practices
- 100 per cent adherence to our International Marketing Standards;
- Roll out our global approach to youth smoking prevention. We expect all our companies to be fully aligned with the global approach by the end of 2010;
- Support the introduction of minimum age laws of 18 for the sale of tobacco products where no such laws currently exist; and
- Increase awareness among our retailers of minimum age laws for tobacco sales in countries where such laws do exist.
For tackling illicit trade
- Work to further raise awareness of the role that some Free Trade Zones play in the illicit trade of tobacco products and lobby for governments to apply strong laws and penalties to criminals operating in these zones; and
- Work with our stakeholders to build support for our approach to track and trace and digital verification.