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Tobacco point-of-purchase promotion: examining tobacco industry documents
  1. Anne M Lavack,
  2. Graham Toth
  1. University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Anne M Lavack
 PhD, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK S4S 0A2 Canada; Anne.Lavack{at}


In the face of increasing media restrictions around the world, point-of-purchase promotion (also called point-of-sale merchandising, and frequently abbreviated as POP or POS) is now one of the most important tools that tobacco companies have for promoting tobacco products. Using tobacco industry documents, this paper demonstrates that tobacco companies have used point-of-purchase promotion in response to real or anticipated advertising restrictions. Their goal was to secure dominance in the retail setting, and this was achieved through well-trained sales representatives who offered contracts for promotional incentive programmes to retailers, which included the use of point-of-sale displays and merchandising fixtures. Audit programmes played an important role in ensuring contract enforcement and compliance with a variety of tobacco company incentive programmes. Tobacco companies celebrated their merchandising successes, in recognition of the stiff competition that existed among tobacco companies for valuable retail display space.

  • point-of-purchase
  • point-of-sale
  • retail displays
  • merchandising

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  • This research is supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative (CTCRI) with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Cancer Institute of Canada, and Health Canada. Many thanks to Stephanie Toth, Shelley Carlson, Brenda Yu, and Jill Raddysh for their work as research assistants

  • Competing interests statement: I have no competing interests. I am a university researcher, and I do not have any affiliations with tobacco companies