LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 17th 2019

Regulated Forms of Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship

Domestic TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion on TV and radio, including satellite and cable. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion on TV and radio.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in “written media such as bulletins, newspapers, magazines or any mass media document.” The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic newspapers and magazine.

Other domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflet, flyers, posters, signs (not including print advertising at the point of sale)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in “written media . . . or any mass media document” as well as prohibiting “billboards, placards, murals, posters, public notices or the like that are mobile or fixed related to the promotion of tobacco and its derivatives.” These two provisions together prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion by domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion by domestic print media.

International TV and radio (including all broadcast media such as satellite and cable)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion on TV and radio, and further provides that “cable operators, satellite operators and community television operators who are duly authorized by the National Television Commission through a license shall not be permitted to issue tobacco commercials or advertising produced abroad in Colombia.” Thus cross-border tobacco advertising on TV and radio in Colombia is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via cross-border TV and radio.

International newspapers and magazines

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in print media, including newspapers and magazines. However, while the law specifically addresses cross-border TV and radio, it does not specifically address international newspapers and magazines. Therefore, it is unclear whether the ban on tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines extends to international newspapers and magazines.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make it clear that tobacco advertising and promotion in international newspapers and magazines is prohibited.

Internet communications

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in virtually all media, including TV, radio, print media, film, theater, “compact disks, digital video disks or similar media.” A decision by the Constitutional Court (C-830-10) found that the phrase “or similar media” “shows the unequivocal intention of the lawmaker to extend the ban against promoting tobacco products to any instrument directed to transmitting information to the general public.” In light of this case, the law is interpreted here are prohibiting tobacco advertising and promotion via internet communications.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising via internet communications. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Internet tobacco product sales

Allowed
There is no ban and there are no restrictions whatsoever applicable.
Analysis:

The law does not specifically address the sale of tobacco products by internet, whether based domestically or internationally. Although tobacco advertising and promotion via the internet is prohibited, in practice, the law is interpreted as permitting tobacco sales by internet if the website does not contain explicit direct advertising.

FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 18 states: “Internet sales of tobacco inherently involve advertising and promotion as defined in the Convention. The problem is not only limited to advertising and promotion but also includes sales to minors, tax evasion and illicit trade.” To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make it clear that internet tobacco product sales are prohibited.

Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards, posters)

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits “billboards, placards, murals, posters, public notices or the like that are mobile or fixed related to the promotion of tobacco and its derivatives.” Therefore, all outdoor tobacco advertising is prohibited. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to outdoor advertising.

Point of sale advertising/promotion

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Point of sale advertising/promotion (other than product displays)

Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in all media including “written media . . . or any mass media document” as well as prohibiting “billboards, placards, murals, posters, public notices or the like that are mobile or fixed related to the promotion of tobacco and its derivatives”. These two provisions together are interpreted as prohibiting point of sale advertising and promotion, which generally involves printed material, signs, placards, posters, etc.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion at point of sale.

Point of sale product display

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Analysis:

Resolution No. 1 of 2018 prohibits point of sale tobacco product displays.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to point of sale product display. However, to further clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and to aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Law Source, Section
Resolution No. 1 of 2018

Vending machines

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits the sale of tobacco product by vending machine in places accessible by minors.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 16 in that it prohibits vending machine sales to minors. To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all vending machine sales of tobacco products as such sales are an inherent form of tobacco advertising and promotion.

Conventional mail

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in “written media such as bulletins . . . or any mass media document . . . or similar media.” Because delivering tobacco advertising through the postal system necessarily involves promoting tobacco through written media documents, this provision is interpreted as prohibiting tobacco advertising and promotion through conventional mail. Further supporting this interpretation, a decision by the Constitutional Court (C-830-10) found that the phrase “or similar media” “shows the unequivocal intention of the lawmaker to extend the ban against promoting tobacco products to any instrument directed to transmitting information to the general public.”

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via conventional mail.

Telephone and cellular phone

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law does not expressly address tobacco advertising via telephone and cellular phone. However, there are two provisions that are interpreted as banning tobacco advertising by telephone.

First, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” The law does not define “promotion.” However, a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, it could be argued that tobacco advertising by telephone is prohibited under the law.

Second, Art. 14 of the law prohibits tobacco promotion by TV, radio, print media, “commercial video or films, compact disks, digital video disks or similar media.” A decision by the Constitutional Court (C-830-10) found that the phrase “or similar media” “shows the unequivocal intention of the lawmaker to extend the ban against promoting tobacco products to any instrument directed to transmitting information to the general public.” Therefore, it could be argued that tobacco advertising by telephone is banned under this provision as well.

Based on these two provisions, the regulatory status “Banned” is assigned.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising by telephone and cellular phone. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Brand marking on physical structures

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Distinctive words, designs, images, logos, sounds, or colors to promote tobacco products in entertainment venues, retail outlets, on vehicles and equipment, or other physical structures (brand marking on physical structures, other than on tobacco product packaging and labeling and print material)

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address brand marking. However, there are three provisions that could be interpreted as banning brand marking.

First, Art. 14 of the law prohibits tobacco promotion by all media, including written media “or similar media.” A decision by the Constitutional Court (C-830-10) found that the phrase “or similar media” “shows the unequivocal intention of the lawmaker to extend the ban against promoting tobacco products to any instrument directed to transmitting information to the general public.” Therefore, it could be argued that brand marking, which promotes tobacco to the public, is banned under this provision.

Second, Art. 15 of the law prohibits “billboards, placards, murals, posters, public notices or the like that are mobile or fixed related to the promotion of tobacco and its derivatives.” It could be argued that brand marking of vehicles or structures violates this provision.

Third, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” The law does not define “promotion.” However, a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, it could be argued that tobacco advertising by brand marking is prohibited.

Based on the interpretation of these three provisions, the regulatory status “Banned” is assigned. The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand marking. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Free distribution of tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law does not expressly address free distribution of tobacco products. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives”. Although the law does not define “promotion”, a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, the law is interpreted as prohibiting free distribution of tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to free distribution of tobacco products. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase (e.g., buy one pack, get one free or, key chains, t-shirts, coupons, points)

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards to consumers are prohibited under the law.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards to consumers in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Competitions associated with tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, whether requiring the purchase of a tobacco product or not

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address competitions associated with tobacco products. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives”. Although the law does not define “promotion”, a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, competitions associated with tobacco products are prohibited under the law. In addition, any publicity of competitions associated with tobacco products is prohibited under the Art. 14 ban on tobacco advertising in any media.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to competitions associated with tobacco products. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law does not expressly address direct person-to-person targeting of individuals. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, direct person-to-person targeting is prohibited under the law.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to direct person-to-person targeting. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or carrying a brand logo or other brand indicia (brand stretching)

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address brand stretching. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, brand stretching is prohibited under the law.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand stretching. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Tobacco products or services using non-tobacco brand names (reverse brand stretching or brand sharing)

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address reverse brand stretching. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, reverse brand stretching is prohibited under the law.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to reverse brand stretching. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits “the manufacture and marketing of sweets, snacks, toys and other objects in the shape of tobacco products.” The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines in this respect.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits “the manufacture and marketing of sweets, snacks, toys and other objects in the shape of tobacco products.” The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines in this respect.

Retailer incentive programs

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.
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Retailer incentive programs (e.g., rewards to retailers for achieving certain sales volume, enhanced displays, etc.) or other payments to encourage them to sell tobacco products

Analysis:

The law does not expressly address retailer incentive programs. However, Art. 16 of the law prohibits “all forms of promotion of tobacco products and its derivatives.” Although the law does not define “promotion,” a Constitutional Court case (C-830-10) found that “promotion” should be understood to have the meaning of “tobacco advertising and promotion” as set forth in the FCTC. Using this definition, it could be argued that retailer incentive programs are prohibited under the law. However, because the law does not expressly address retailer incentive programs, and does not define “tobacco advertising and promotion,” it is unclear whether retailer incentive programs were intended to be covered by the ban on tobacco promotion.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make it clear that retailer incentive programs are prohibited as part of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion. To clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Analysis:

The law expressly prohibits the promotion of tobacco products in “television, in the cinema . . . theater productions or other live functions, live or recorded musical functions, commercial video or films, compact disks, digital video disks or similar media.” This provision is interpreted as prohibiting paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, or other media.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, or other media. However, to clarify the scope of the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion and aid in enforcement, the law should provide a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with the definition contained in the FCTC.

Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in media that does not serve a legitimate purpose

Uncertain
The status of the regulation is uncertain due to lack of clarity in the law or inability to obtain all relevant laws.
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Unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film or other media that is not legitimate journalistic, artistic, or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary

Analysis:

The law prohibits the promotion of tobacco products in “television, in the cinema . . . theater productions or other live functions, live or recorded musical functions, commercial video or films, compact disks, digital video disks or similar media.” This provision could be interpreted as prohibiting unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in TV, film, or other entertainment media. However, because the term “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined, it is unclear whether the ban applies to unpaid as well as paid depiction or placement. Therefore, the regulatory status “Uncertain” is assigned.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should specifically address unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in accordance with FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines paras. 29-32.

Tobacco industry sponsorship of events, activities, individuals, organizations or governments

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals or groups (e.g., groups involved in sports, the arts, politics, charitable or welfare, or other activities, or youth smoking prevention programs)

Analysis:

The law prohibits sponsorship of sporting and cultural events by tobacco companies or tobacco brands where the sponsorship involves direct or indirect promotion of the consumption of tobacco products and its derivatives. The law does not prohibit sponsorship of individuals, organizations, governments, or events that are not related to sporting or culture. Because sponsorship is not defined, the scope of the ban is unclear.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all contributions that have the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting tobacco products or tobacco use directly or indirectly.

Publicity of financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry if tobacco sponsorship is not banned

Some Restrictions
There is not a complete ban on the listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship, but one or more limits on the form applies.
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Analysis:

The law prohibits sponsorship of sporting and cultural events by tobacco companies or tobacco brands where the sponsorship involves direct or indirect promotion of the consumption of tobacco products and its derivatives. The publicity of such events is also prohibited. The law does not have other provisions that specifically prohibit publicity of permitted tobacco sponsorship; however, the general prohibition on all forms of promotion of tobacco products will greatly restrict such publicity.

To fully align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco sponsorship and publicity thereof.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about a product's characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions (covering any term, descriptor, trademark, emblem, marketing image, logo, color and figurative, or any other indicia)

Analysis:

The law prohibits the use, in advertising or packaging, of false or deceptive terms such as “mild,” “light,” “low in tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide.” In addition, Ministry Decision No. 003961, issued pursuant to Law No. 1335, further provides that tobacco products may not contain “misleading information as to their characteristics, effect on health, risks or emissions or use terms, descriptive elements, brand or trade names, figurative or other types of sign whose direct or indirect effect is to create the false impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others.” These provisions, combined with the comprehensive ban on advertising, prohibit all promotion by means that are false, misleading and deceptive.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to promotion by means that are false, misleading, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression about characteristics, health effects, hazards, or emissions.