You See Convenience. We See A Problem.

The purpose of this campaign is to educate retail management about Richland County content-neutral advertising laws, which limits the amount of window space available for marketing and promoting a product. Through formal and informal assessments of retail establishments, advertisement in the identified jurisdiction has been primarily associated with tobacco and alcohol products.

Campaign Goals

  Increase retail management and staff knowledge of local laws relating to content-neutral advertising.

  Reduce overexposure of tobacco product advertisements by consumers.

  Create community norms that support content-neutral advertisement of tobacco products in retail establishments.

Did You Know?

Advertisements for tobacco cannot be larger than 14 square feet. Legal settlements prohibit posting advertisements of a certain size for cigarette or smokeless tobacco products sold by primary tobacco companies. This also holds true for single “mosaic” advertisements, which cannot be larger than 14 square feet. However, many convenience stores have windows or walls covered by smaller ads placed side-by-side.

Tobacco advertising at the point of sale takes a variety of forms, including:

  • exterior and interior
  • permanent and temporary
  • affixed (e.g. neon signs; signs attached to a building by nails, screws or brackets; and signs attached to poles cemented into the ground)
  • not affixed (e.g. portable signs, free-standing signs, and sandwich boards); and
  • non-functional (e.g. sandwich boards outside stores and advertising on windows)

Don’t Discount Our Health.

Exposure to tobacco-saturated advertisement has been demonstrated to influence purchase and early initiation of consumption. Consequently, this is why the tobacco industry spends $9.5 billion a year to market and promote its products in the United States. Of this amount, $9.1 billion (96%) is spent on point of sale (POS) efforts. POS refers to marketing practices that are intentionally designed to increase the likelihood of consumer purchase by reminding consumers of brands when they are ready to buy. Because POS is an important marketing channel for tobacco companies, with very few restrictions, consumers, including children, are unavoidably exposed to pro-smoking messages when they shop.

Resources.

Federal Rules for Tobacco Retailers

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Summary of Federal Rules for Tobacco Retailers. Available at https://www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/retail/ucm205021.htm

Assurances of Voluntary Compliance Webinar

Tips for Retailers: Preventing Sales to Minors