Advertising & Promotion

Voluntary Cigarette Advertising and Promotion Code

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) that R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette manufacturers signed in November 1998 sets forth numerous tobacco-marketing restrictions. In addition to those restrictions, R.J. Reynolds continues to follow several rules, as stated in the Voluntary Cigarette Advertising and Promotion Code, regarding cigarette advertising. (The remainder of the voluntary code was included in or superseded by the MSA.) These rules state:

  • No one depicted in cigarette advertising shall be or appear to be under 25 years of age.
  • Cigarette advertising shall not suggest that smoking is essential to social prominence, distinction, success or sexual attraction, nor shall it picture a person smoking in an exaggerated manner.
  • Cigarette advertising may picture attractive, healthy looking persons provided there is no suggestion that their attractiveness and good health is due to cigarette smoking.
  • Cigarette advertising shall not depict as a smoker anyone who is or has been well known as an athlete, nor shall it show any smoker participating in, or obviously just having participated in, a physical activity requiring stamina or athletic conditioning beyond that of normal recreation.
  • No sports or celebrity testimonials shall be used or those of others who would have special appeal to persons under 21 years of age.

R.J. Reynolds has decided to apply the rules set forth in the Voluntary Cigarette Advertising and Promotion Code to its smokeless and other tobacco products.


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s Practice On Placing Print Advertising

As part of our placement practice, we:

  • Review audience-measurement data regarding the age of a publication’s readership.
    • Where data are available on a publication’s total readership aged 12 or older, it only advertises in magazines with readership of at least 85 percent 18 or older.
    • For publications where audience measurement data are available only for readership age 18 and older, the company advertises only if the median age of the audience is 23 or older.
  • Analyze the editorial content of the publications over time to be sure the topics covered have adult appeal and focus.
  • Evaluate the other advertisements which appear in those publications to ensure that they are products which have adult appeal and focus.
  • Assess such factors as the publication’s business stability, circulation dynamics and method of distribution.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Policy Regarding Cigarette Flavor Communications

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (FSPTCA) bans the manufacture and sale of cigarettes that have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco or menthol. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company complies with this ban. However, virtually all U.S. cigarettes include common flavors such as cocoa, sugar and licorice. The ability to accurately describe the taste of cigarettes to adult smokers is protected commercial free speech and central to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s ability to compete. R.J. Reynolds seeks to protect its right to communicate product differences to adult smokers, while preventing perceptions that any of its products have a “characterizing flavor” as defined under the FSPTCA.