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.
Analysis:

Section 21a(2) of the Provisional Tobacco Act prohibits tobacco advertising on radio. Section 21b(4) prohibits tobacco advertising on TV.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising on domestic TV and radio.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

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

The law prohibits tobacco advertising in the “press and other printed publications”, which includes domestic newspapers and magazines. The law provides an exception for print publications “intended exclusively for those employed in the tobacco industry.”

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic newspapers and magazines.

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

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

The law does not address domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs. Although the law prohibits tobacco advertising in the “press and other printed publications”, this phrase is interpreted to cover only traditional print media such as newspapers and magazines, and not leaflets, flyers, posters or signs. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs, is allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including in domestic print media such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs.

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

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.
Analysis:

Although the law bans tobacco advertising on TV and radio, the law does not explicitly address tobacco advertising and promotion via international or cross border TV and radio. However, the provision prohibiting “[a]ny other form of audiovisual commercial communication for tobacco products” is within the section of the law on the implementation of the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which prohibits audiovisual commercial communication for tobacco products throughout the EU. Therefore, when read in conjunction with the intent of the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the law is interpreted as prohibiting tobacco advertising on international TV broadcast from anywhere in the EU and transmitted into the EU. Thus, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.

Because the law restricts tobacco advertising and promotion on international broadcast media, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 52, which states that "Parties should make use of their sovereign right to take effective actions to limit or prevent any cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entering their territory." However, to more fully align with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines paras. 46-52, the law should explicitly prohibit all cross-border tobacco advertising and promotion on TV and radio originating from or entering its territory even if originating from or being transmitted to outside of the EU.

International newspapers and magazines

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.
Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising in the “press and other printed publications”, which includes newspapers and magazines. However, the law provides an exception for tobacco industry trade publications that are “printed and distributed in a country that is not a member state of the European Union.”

Because the law prohibits advertising in international newspapers and magazines intended for the German market, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 52, which states that “Parties should make use of their sovereign right to take effective actions to limit or prevent any cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entering their territory.”

Internet communications

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.

Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The law prohibits tobacco advertising in the “press and other printed publications”. The law explicitly includes “information society services”, which includes internet communication, within this prohibition. However, the law provides an exception for tobacco industry trade publications that are “printed and distributed in a country that is not a member state of the European Union.”

Because the law prohibits advertising via internet communications intended for the German market, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines para. 52, which states that “Parties should make use of their sovereign right to take effective actions to limit or prevent any cross-border tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entering their territory.”

Internet tobacco product sales

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

The law does not address the sale of tobacco products via the internet or through mail or delivery services. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing tobacco product sales via the internet.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines paras. 18-21, the law should explicitly prohibit internet tobacco product sales as they inherently involve tobacco advertising and promotion.

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

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

The law does not address outdoor advertising, such as billboards and posters. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion through outdoor advertising is allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including outdoor adverting.

Point of sale advertising/promotion

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

Point of sale advertising/promotion (other than product displays)

Analysis:

The law does not address point of sale advertising and promotion. Therefore, point of sale advertising and promotion is allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including at point of sale.

Point of sale product display

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

The law does not address point of sale product display. Therefore, point of sale product display is allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines paras. 12-13, the law should provide for “a total ban on any display and on the visibility of tobacco products at points of sale, including fixed retail outlets and street vendors. Only the textual listing of products and their prices, without any promotional elements, would be allowed.”

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.
Analysis:

The Youth Protection Act restricts the use and placement of tobacco vending machines. The Act states that: “Tobacco products must not be available from selling machines unless the following conditions are satisfied: 1) The selling machine has been installed at a location not accessible for Children and for Adolescents. 2) The selling machine has been furnished with mechanical devices or is permanently guarded to ensure that children and adolescents cannot take tobacco products out of them.”

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the use of tobacco vending machines because they constitute, by their very presence, a means of advertising and promotion. The law does align, however, with FCTC Art. 16 because it attempts to ensure that tobacco vending machines are not accessible to minors.

Conventional mail

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

The law does not address advertising through conventional mail. In addition, the law is interpreted as allowing tobacco advertising via domestic print media, such as leaflets and flyers, which may be sent through conventional mail. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion via conventional mail is allowed.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion, including through conventional mail.

Telephone and cellular phone

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

The law does not address tobacco advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing advertising via telephone and cellular phone.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should explicitly prohibit tobacco advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone.

Brand marking on physical structures

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

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 address brand marking, including the use of distinctive words, designs, images, logos, sounds, or colors to promote tobacco products in entertainment venues, retail outlets, on vehicles or equipment. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing brand marking.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should explicitly prohibit brand marking.

Free distribution of tobacco products

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.
Analysis:

The law restricts free distribution of tobacco products. Specifically, the law prohibits the distribution of “free tobacco products in connection with an event, for which sponsoring is forbidden”, which includes events that take place in or involve multiple EU Member States or have cross-border effects. There are no other restrictions on the free distribution of tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all free distribution of tobacco products, as this is an inherent form of advertising. To meet FCTC Art. 16, the law should prohibit the distribution of free tobacco products to minors.

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

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

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 address promotions with a tobacco product purchase. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing promotions in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit promotions in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase.

Competitions associated with tobacco products

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.

Competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names, whether requiring the purchase of a tobacco product or not

Analysis:

The law restricts competitions associated with tobacco products. Specifically, the law prohibits the sponsorship of any activity: “1) in which multiple member states are involved, 2) which takes place in several Member States, or 3) which otherwise has cross-border effects.” Therefore, competitions associated with tobacco products are allowed if they take place in, and have effects in, Germany only. However, such competitions are prohibited if they take place in, or have effects in, multiple EU Member States.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all competitions associated with tobacco products.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

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

The law does not address direct person-to-person targeting of individuals. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing direct person-to-person targeting of individuals.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should explicitly prohibit direct person-to-person targeting of individuals.

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

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

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 address brand stretching/trademark diversification. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing brand stretching/trademark diversification.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit brand stretching/trademark diversification.

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

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

Tobacco products or services using non-tobacco brand names (reverse brand stretching or brand sharing)

Analysis:

The law does not address reverse brand stretching or brand sharing. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing reverse brand stretching/brand sharing.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit reverse brand stretching/brand sharing.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

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

The law does not address the manufacture or sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing the manufacture and sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the manufacture and sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

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

The law does not address the manufacture or sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing the manufacture and sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit the manufacture and sale of toys or candy that resemble tobacco products.

Retailer incentive programs

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

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 address retailer incentive programs. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing retailer incentive programs.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit retailer incentive programs.

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

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

The law prohibits paid placement of tobacco products in audiovisual media services (TV, film, and other media) in programs produced after December 19, 2009.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, and other media.

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

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

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 does not address the unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products in media. Therefore, the law is interpreted as permitting unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should specifically address unpaid placement 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.

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 Provisional Tobacco Act prohibits sponsorship of radio programs (Sec. 21a(5)) and audiovisual/TV programs (Sec. 21b(2)). The law also prohibits sponsorship of cross-border events; specifically, events in which multiple member states are involved, which take place in several member states, or which otherwise have cross-border effects. However, if an event or activity takes place, and has effects, only in Germany, the law is interpreted as allowing sponsorship. In addition, the law does not prohibit contributions to “corporate social responsibility” programs. Therefore, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, and organizations.

Law Source, Section

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.
Analysis:

Publicity of allowed sponsorship (including sponsorship of events and activities that take place and have effects only in Germany) is prohibited on radio, TV, internet, and print publications by the ban on tobacco advertising on radio, TV, internet, and print publications. However, the publicity of allowed sponsorship is permitted by billboard, posters, leaflets, signs, and other print media, as these forms of advertising and promotion are not prohibited or restricted. The law also allows publicity of tobacco industry contributions to “corporate social responsibility” activities.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, and organizations, and publicity thereof.

Law Source, Section

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
Expand to view related litigation.

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 Provisional Tobacco Act prohibits marketing of tobacco products “under misleading names, information or packaging or to advertise any particular tobacco product or tobacco products in general using misleading descriptions or other statements” (Sec. 17(5)) and “to use names, information, packaging, descriptions or other statements, a) which will give the impression that the enjoyment or the intended use of tobacco products does not present any health risks or likely is to have a positive impact on the functioning of the body, the performance or well-being” (Sec. 22(2)). In addition, the Tobacco Products Ordinance prohibits on tobacco product packaging the use of “terms, names, brands and pictorial or other signs” that give the impression that a certain tobacco product is less harmful than another. Together, these provisions are interpreted as prohibiting all promotion by any means that are false, misleading, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression.

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