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From glass boxes to social media engagement: an audit of tobacco retail marketing in Indonesia
  1. Putu Ayu Swandewi Astuti1,2,
  2. Ni Made Dian Kurniasari1,3,
  3. Ketut Hari Mulyawan1,3,
  4. Susy K Sebayang4,
  5. Becky Freeman2,5
  1. 1 Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Udayana University Faculty of Medicine, Denpasar, Indonesia
  2. 2 School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Udayana Center for NCDs, Tobacco Control and Lung Health, Udayana University Sudirman Campus, Denpasar, Indonesia
  4. 4 Biostatistics and Population Studies, Universitas Airlangga, Banyuwangi, Indonesia
  5. 5 Prevention Research Collaboration (PRC), Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Ms Putu Ayu Swandewi Astuti, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Udayana University Faculty of Medicine, Denpasar 80232, Indonesia; ayu.swandewi{at}


Objective To assess tobacco promotion intensity, retailer behaviours and tobacco company efforts to link retailer marketing to online channels.

Methods We completed an audit of tobacco advertisements and promotions at 1000 randomly selected cigarette retailers in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia that included an observation checklist, digital photos and structured interviews with retailers. We then calculated the tobacco promotion index for each retailer and made comparisons based on store types. Next, we conducted a photo analysis from 100 randomly selected retailers to explore links to online channels and other promotional cues to engage young people.

Results Mini-markets have both the highest total number of promotions and the highest indoor promotion index with a mean score of 5.1 and 3.7, respectively. Kiosks have the highest outdoor promotion index with a mean score of 1.6. Most of the retailers (98.9%) displayed cigarettes, more than half of kiosk retailers (54.8%) and mini-market retailers (56.3%) admitted selling cigarettes to young people, and 74% of kiosk retailers sell single stick cigarettes. We found links to online marketing, including two hashtags and a company website. Promotional materials also included youth-focused content such as English taglines, new products and small packs.

Conclusion Tobacco companies in Indonesia have strategically differentiated their advertisements based on retailer type and have bridged conventional retailer marketing to online channels. Reforming Indonesian tobacco laws to include bans on single sticks and small pack sales, point-of-sale advertising, including displays, and enforcement of laws on sales to minors is urgently required.

  • advertising and promotion
  • public policy
  • tobacco industry
  • low/middle income country
  • denormalization

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  • Contributors PASA designed the study, conducted the analysis and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. NMDK and KHM were involved in the design of the study, and conducted data management and analysis. SKS was involved in the design of the study and edited the manuscript. BF designed the study, edited the manuscript and provided social marketing expertise. All authors agree with the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The study was funded by the Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC)-Health Cluster and supported by the Australian Commonwealth Government. PASA received Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) scholarship for her PhD.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the ethics committees of The University of Sydney and the Faculty of Public Health of Universitas Airlangga.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.