LANGUAGE
Last updated: September 18th 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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes electronic media. In addition to the general ban on virtually all advertising and promotion, the TV Advertising Code issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) provides that public service messages by relevant agencies are the only permissible advertisements for tobacco products or that make reference to tobacco products. The Radio Advertising and Sponsorship Code has a similar provision banning any radio advertisements for tobacco products except for public service announcements authorized by the relevant government agencies. Therefore, advertising via domestic TV, radio, and other broadcast media is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning tobacco advertising and promotion on domestic TV, radio, and other broadcast media such as cable and satellite.

Domestic newspapers and magazines

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

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes print media. Therefore, advertising via domestic newspapers and magazines is prohibited.

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

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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes print media. Therefore, advertising via other forms of domestic print media is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning tobacco advertising and promotion on other domestic print media, such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and signs.

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

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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes electronic media. However, it is uncertain whether this ban applies to international TV, radio, and other broadcast media such as satellite and cable.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all tobacco advertising and promotion, including by international TV, radio, and other broadcast media such as satellite and cable, should be banned.

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.
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Analysis:

“Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes print media. Newspapers and magazines published outside of Singapore are permitted to contain tobacco advertising. However, certain foreign newspapers and magazines, as designated by the Minister in the Foreign Newspapers Consolidation Notification, are specifically prohibited from printing tobacco-related advertisements. In addition, the law prohibits any foreign or cross-border newspaper or other printed matter that contains a tobacco-related advertisement if: (a) that newspaper forms part of, or is supplemental to, any newspaper that is printed or published in Singapore; and (b) that newspaper is supplied or distributed to any purchaser or subscriber of any newspaper that is printed or published in Singapore. This exception applies regardless of whether the newspapers are delivered at the same time or together.

The law cautions that the provision allowing tobacco advertising in certain foreign newspapers shall not be construed to exempt any advertisement in other foreign print media, such as notices, circulars, pamphlets, and brochures.

To fully align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all tobacco advertising and promotion in foreign or cross-border newspapers and magazines.

Internet communications

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

Analysis:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes any kind of transmission for aural or visual reception, which encompasses the internet. Therefore, advertising via internet communications is prohibited. "Published electronically" is defined to include any internet advertisement that originates in Singapore, or that originates elsewhere but is published by a "Singapore-connected person" and is accessible by people in Singapore.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning tobacco advertising and promotion via internet communications.

Internet tobacco product sales

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

The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products through the internet.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to internet sales of tobacco products.

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

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

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. The definition of “advertisement” is very broad and specifically includes billboards and any poster or placard displayed on any wall, among other things. Therefore, all outdoor advertising is prohibited.

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

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. The definition of “advertisement” is very broad and specifically includes any poster or placard displayed on any wall, object, or thing, as well as price-lists. In addition, the catch-all provision in the definition – any document or announcement made “in any other manner whatsoever” – covers any other advertising or promotion that may be displayed at the point of sale. Therefore, all point of sale advertising is banned.

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

Point of sale product display

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 display of tobacco products for sale is prohibited at most points of sale. Tobacco products must be kept in a storage room or in a container meeting requirements established in the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Ban on Display of Tobacco Products) Regulations 2017. A black-and-white price list can be made available upon request.

However, certain types of retailers – specialist tobacconists and certain duty-free shops – are exempt from the product display ban. The details of the exemptions are contained in the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Exemption for Duty-free Retailers and Specialist Tobacconists) Order 2017. Because of these exemptions, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all product display and visibility should be prohibited at all points of sale.

Vending machines

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

The law requires retailers to obtain a license to sell tobacco products, and the law states that no license may be granted for sale by vending machine. Therefore, the law prohibits vending machine sales of tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13, the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and FCTC Art. 16 with respect to vending machine sales.

Conventional mail

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

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes written and print media. Therefore, advertising via conventional mail is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning 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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and includes electronic media. Moreover, it specifically includes information disseminated “by means of producing or transmitting sound.” Therefore, advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning tobacco advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone.

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 prohibits publishing a tobacco advertisement, including any ad that “illustrates or depicts . . . any pictorial devices commonly associated with a brand name of or a trade mark relating to any tobacco product.” “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and specifically includes forms of brand marking, such as information disseminated “by means of any writing on any vehicle, ashtray, calendar, cigarette-lighter, clock or any other object or thing.” Therefore, brand marking is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning brand marking.

Free distribution of tobacco products

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

The law prohibits the distribution of any free sample of a tobacco product to the public or to any section of the public. However, the law permits the free distribution of tobacco products to persons who are associated or concerned with the manufacture, distribution, or sale of tobacco products.

Because the law provides for a complete ban on the free distribution of tobacco products to consumers, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and meets FCTC Art. 16, which requires Parties to prohibit or promote the prohibition of the free distribution of tobacco products to the public and especially minors.

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 prohibits three types of promotional practice that combine tobacco products with non-tobacco goods and services. First, the law bans the sale or offer for sale of any tobacco product with any other goods and services as a free gift. Second, the law prohibits the reverse situation – the sale or offer for sale of any goods or services with any tobacco product as a free gift. Finally, the law prohibits the sale or offer for sale of any tobacco product packaged or labeled together or otherwise in conjunction with any other goods and services.

Moreover, the law prohibits any sort of shopper loyalty program involving tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines in this regard.

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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. Displaying a product name or logo in association with a competition would amount to “publishing” an “advertisement,” which is prohibited under the law. Therefore, competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names are banned.

Moreover, the law prohibits offering or giving any tobacco product as a prize in any lottery, raffle, drawing, game, or other competition.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines in this regard.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

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

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned, although the law does not specifically address the direct targeting of individuals with promotional or informational materials. However, the definition of “advertisement” is comprehensive and includes information or suggestions given to any person or persons that may occur orally or in writing, among other means of transmission. Therefore, the direct targeting of individuals with tobacco promotional or informational materials is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to banning the direct targeting of individuals with tobacco advertising or promotional materials.

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 prohibits publishing a tobacco advertisement, including any ad “illustrating or depicting . . . any pictorial device commonly associated with a brand name of, or a trade mark relating to, any tobacco product.” “Advertisement” is defined very broadly and specifically includes brand stretching, defining the term to include “any announcement, notification or intimation” disseminated “by means of any writing on any vehicle, ashtray, calendar, cigarette-lighter, clock or any other object or thing,” in addition to “by any other manner whatsoever.” Therefore, brand stretching is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand stretching.

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 prohibits the sale of tobacco products "packaged and labeled together or otherwise in conjunction with any other goods and services." This provision is interpreted as prohibiting reverse brand stretching.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to reverse brand stretching.

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 importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any toy or other article that is designed to resemble a tobacco product or the packaging of which is designed to resemble the packaging commonly associated with tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13, the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and FCTC Art. 16 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 importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of “any confectionery or other food product” that is designed to resemble a tobacco product or the packaging of which is designed to resemble the packaging commonly associated with tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13, the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and FCTC Art. 16 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 specifically address retailer incentive programs, and it is not clear that retailer incentive programs would fall with the definition of “advertisement.” There is a ban on shopper loyalty programs involving tobacco products, although it is not clear that this would apply to loyalty schemes between retailers and distributors. As a result, the regulatory status code “Uncertain” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should use the term “tobacco advertising and promotion,” defined in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c), and impose a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, including prohibiting 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.
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Analysis:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. Although the law does not directly address the paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, or other media, paid placement is prohibited under the general ban on advertising of tobacco products. The law prohibits the publication of any advertisement that “depict[s] . . . the name or trade name of any person associated with manufacture, distribution or marketing of any tobacco product . . . [or] a brand name of, or trade name relating to, any tobacco product.” Further, “publish” is defined broadly and includes “to distribute, show, exhibit, display or broadcast by any form of communication or in any manner.” Thus, the definition of “publish” encompasses placement of a product in TV, film, or other media. Therefore, paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film, or other media is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to this practice.

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

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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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:

Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned. Although the law does not directly address the unpaid depiction of tobacco use or products in TV, film, or other media, some forms of unpaid depiction are prohibited under the general ban on advertising. The law prohibits the publication of any advertisement that “depict[s] . . . the name or trade name of any person associated with manufacture, distribution or marketing of any tobacco product . . . [or] a brand name of, or trade name relating to, any tobacco product.” Further, “publish” is defined broadly and includes “to distribute, show, exhibit, display or broadcast by any form of communication or in any manner.” Thus, the definition of “publish” encompasses placement, paid or unpaid, of a tobacco product in TV, film, or other media. Notably, however, depiction of tobacco use does not fall within the prohibition on the publication of tobacco advertisements.

Nevertheless, four of the codes of practice issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority restrict the display of tobacco use on television. The Free-to-Air Television Programme Code, the Subscription Television Programme Code, and the Video-on-Demand Programme Code prohibit children’s programs from displaying the use of tobacco products unless an educational point is being made or in other exceptional circumstances. In addition, Sec. 5.3 of the Free-to-Air Television Programme Code prohibits the depiction of smoking as glamorous or desirable. These codes restrict the depiction of tobacco use, although the restriction is limited to the broadcast media governed by these codes. As a result, unpaid depiction of tobacco use or tobacco products is given the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions.”

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.
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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:

Financial or other sponsorship or support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, groups, etc. is not prohibited. However, publicity of that sponsorship is prohibited under the ban on advertising. Therefore, the law is interpreted as allowing financial contribution to events, activities, individuals, groups, or organizations, as long as the contribution is not advertised, including through the use of a corporate name.

The Radio Advertising and Sponsorship Code and the Television Programme Sponsorship Code both provide that "broadcasters should not accept sponsorship from products, services and establishments that are not acceptable for advertising . . . e.g. tobacco products."

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all tobacco sponsorship, whether publicized or not, should be banned. In addition, the law should provide a definition for “tobacco sponsorship” in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(g).

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

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

Publicity of sponsorship by the tobacco industry is prohibited under the ban on advertising.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to publicity of tobacco sponsorship.

Promotion by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive

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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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:

Article 17A, added to the law in 2010, prohibits the importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any tobacco product the packaging and labeling of which promotes tobacco products by means that are “false, misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions of the tobacco product.” This prohibition extends to any term, descriptor, or trademark, or any figurative or other sign that “creates the false impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products.”

However, the law does not specifically address promotional practices other than those related to packaging and labeling. Nonetheless, promotion by means that are false, misleading, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression about product characteristics, health effects, hazards, or emissions are prohibited to the extent that certain forms of advertising are prohibited under the law.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should impose a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including the promotion of products by any means that are false, misleading, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression about product characteristics, health effects, hazards, or emissions.