Daily Archives: May 3, 2009

Marketing Skills Development Manager, Lagos, Nigeria

Segun Obagbemi has worked for British American Tobacco since 2002. He has held various roles, primarily in marketing, and has been based in both Nigeria andSierra Leone.
“In my experience, despite the realities
of operating in the developing
economies of Africa, we go to great
lengths to ensure we conduct
ourselves in a responsible way. For
example, while working in post civil
war Sierra Leone, we held several
sessions to educate our trade partners
and retailers on the importance of
preventing sales of tobacco products
to the underage. We also conducted
similar sessions on our IMS.
In Nigeria, where I am currently based,
there are many legal restrictions
around tobacco advertising,
promotion and sales of tobacco to
the underage. Even with this strong
legal framework, the nature of the
marketplace still presents challenges
to sticking to our standards and
principles, albeit ones we believe
we can overcome.
For instance, retail outlets in Nigeria
are often mobile stalls or shops that
can frequently move location. This
means that the point-of-sale materials
that we provide them with can be
moved from a location that adheres
to our IMS one day, to one that does
not the next day. For example,
it may be moved the next day to be
very near a school. We work hard
to address this and regularly carry
out spot checks to ensure a retailer
hasn’t moved their outlet, along
with our point-of-sale materials, to
somewhere that we would consider
to be inappropriate.
Lower disposable incomes have led
to the growth in demand for single
cigarette sales, something we try to
discourage. In addition, where
children are the primary
breadwinners, they sometimes
support their families through petty
trading and can be found minding
retail outlets. Issues like these make
maintaining our marketing standards
and youth smoking prevention
initiatives a constant challenge, but
not one that we shy away from.
In my role, I’m constantly evaluating
any new activity and considering how
it will impact on our stakeholders.
I also work to engage the marketing
team in highlighting not only the
importance of maximising shareholder
value, but also doing this in a way
that is consistent with our standards
and principles.
In my view, our marketplace goal
is relevant to the environment
I work in and is something that
we must live up to.”

British American Tobacco International Marketing Standards

In 2007, we updated and strengthened British American Tobacco voluntary International Marketing Standards (IMS) to improve alignment of the Group’s marketing practices. All Group companies are committed to applying the Standards whenever local law or voluntary agreements do not impose a higher standard.
Unlike the first version of the IMS, which was developed with Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International, the current Standards are a unilateral initiative of British American Tobacco.
The changes we have made cover, for example, further procedures for adult verification and the responsible use of new media such as the Internet and
other electronic messaging.
Examples of how our IMS address tobacco product brand communications include:
– Not to be aimed at, or particularly appeal to, youth;
– Not to feature a celebrity nor link tobacco with sporting, professional, social or sexual success; and
– No direct or indirect product placement. To download the Standards in full, go to www.bat.com/marketingstandards

Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

2008 saw further development of the global tobacco control agenda set by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC came into force in 2005 and, by the end of 2008, 162 governments (known as Parties) had ratified the treaty. The FCTC contains provisions aimed at reducing both the supply of and demand for tobacco products; measures including public place smoking bans and a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising; ingredients and emissions testing and disclosure; and promotion of economically viable alternative crops for tobacco farmers.
The FCTC provides countries that ratify it with a policy framework for addressing tobacco issues locally. Governments will, over time, consider
updating their local legislation, reflecting their interpretation of FCTC obligations and their own circumstances and priorities.
Where appropriate, BATcompanies will engage with local regulators and other interested parties during this process.