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:

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, moving pictures and / or audible messages that promote the use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement on TV and radio. Instructions to TV channels also prohibit smoking scenes in TV programs produced after NATA became effective in 2006.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via domestic 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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in newspapers and magazines.

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

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in leaflets, handbills or other documents distributed to the public.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via other domestic print media.

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.
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Analysis:

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, moving pictures and/or audible messages that promote the purchase or use of a tobacco product. The law prohibits such advertisement on TV and radio programs transmitted from outside Sri Lanka when the programs are intended to be seen or heard “only or mainly” in Sri Lanka. Instructions to TV channels also prohibit smoking scenes in TV programs produced after NATA became effective in 2006. As the law permits advertising when programs are broadcast in Sri Lanka in addition to other countries, the regulatory status “Some Restrictions” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all tobacco advertising and promotion through international TV and radio 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:

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product. The law prohibits such advertisement in newspapers or magazines distributed from outside Sri Lanka when the items are intended for sale “only or mainly” in Sri Lanka. As the law permits advertising when newspapers or magazines are sold in Sri Lanka in addition to other countries, the regulatory status “Some Restrictions” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all tobacco advertising and promotion through international newspapers and magazines should be banned.

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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the use of a tobacco product and prohibits tobacco advertisements on the internet. In practice, we understand that Sri Lanka is unable to control what appears on the internet. As tobacco product-related internet communications are prohibited under the law, the regulatory status “Banned” is given.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to 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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the use of a tobacco product and prohibits tobacco advertisements on the internet. In practice, we understand that Sri Lanka is unable to control what appears on the internet. As tobacco product-related internet communications are prohibited under the law, the regulatory status “Banned” is given.

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

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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in any place to which the public has access. The law is interpreted as banning tobacco advertising and promotion outdoors.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in any place to which the public has access. Although, at the point of sale, the law permits a notice of a particular size to identify the tobacco products sold and their price, the law is interpreted as banning advertising and promotion at the point of sale.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

Point of sale product display

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

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in any place to which the public has access. Tobacco product displays at the point of sale are prohibited to the extent that they promote tobacco products.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines. While the law prohibits advertising tobacco products in any way at the point of sale, the law and/or subsequent rules should specifically prohibit tobacco product displays for better clarity.

Vending machines

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

The law prohibits sales of tobacco products by vending machine.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, and meets FCTC Art. 16 (sales to and by minors) with regard to sales of tobacco products through vending machines.

Conventional mail

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

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in documents distributed to the public. The law is interpreted as banning tobacco advertising and promotion via conventional mail.

Therefore, 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

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

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone. Therefore, the law does not align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, tobacco advertising and promotion via telephone and cellular phone should be banned.

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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any writing and/or visual image that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in any place to which the public has access. The law is interpreted as banning tobacco advertising and promotion via brand marking on physical structures.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand marking on physical structures.

Free distribution of tobacco products

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

The law expressly prohibits manufacturers, importers and distributors from distributing tobacco products free of charge.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines and meets FCTC Art. 16 (sales to and by minors) with respect to free distribution of tobacco products.

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 expressly prohibits manufacturers, importers and distributors from offering promotional discounts to consumers. (The law however does permit trade discounts).

Therefore, 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.

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 expressly prohibits manufacturers, importers and distributors from offering the right to participate in any contest, lottery or game to the purchaser of a tobacco product.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to competitions associated with tobacco products or brand names.

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

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

The law does not prohibit tobacco advertising and promotion via direct person to person targeting of individuals.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the drafters should make clear that tobacco advertising and promotion via direct person to person targeting is banned.

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 expressly prohibits the distribution or sale of non-tobacco articles that bear “the trade mark, characteristic symbols, distinctive logo or brand name of a tobacco product.”

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via tobacco product brand stretching.

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 prohibit tobacco advertising and promotion via reverse brand stretching.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, tobacco advertising and promotion via reverse brand stretching should be banned.

Toys that resemble tobacco products

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

The law expressly prohibits the manufacture, distribution or sale of non-tobacco articles that have the appearance of tobacco products.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via toys that resemble tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

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

The law expressly prohibits the manufacture, distribution or sale of non-tobacco articles that have the appearance of tobacco products.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to tobacco advertising and promotion via 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 specifically address tobacco advertising and promotion via retailer incentive programs. Therefore, the law is interpreted to allow such programs.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should specifically ban 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:

The law defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any moving picture and/or audible message that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in television and film. The law further prohibits tobacco industry sponsorship. Instructions to TV channels additionally prohibit smoking scenes in TV programs produced after NATA became effective in 2006. The law is interpreted as banning paid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

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

Banned
The listed form of tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship is completely banned.
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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 defines tobacco advertisement as, among other things, any moving picture and/or audible message that promotes the purchase or use of a tobacco product and prohibits such advertisement in television and film. Instructions to TV channels additionally prohibit smoking scenes in TV programs produced after NATA became effective in 2006. The law is interpreted as banning unpaid placement of tobacco products in TV, film or other media.

Therefore, the law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines.

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 allows contributions to any event, individual, organization, or government that promotes a tobacco product or tobacco use. The law does impose restrictions on the publicity of such contributions for organizations, activities, and events, so organization, activity and event sponsorships that intrinsically require the use of a tobacco trademark or brand name and indicate that any financial or other assistance was given by, or on behalf of, a manufacturer, distributor, or importer of tobacco products are prohibited.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit any contribution to any event, activity, individual, organization, or government that has the aim, effect, or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product 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 use of a brand name or trademark or any symbol associated with a tobacco product or tobacco manufacturer, whether directly or indirectly, in connection with the promotion of any educational, cultural, social, organization, activity, or event. Any use of the brand name or trademark may not indicate or acknowledge that any financial or other assistance was given by the tobacco industry towards such organization, activity, or event. Publicity that does not use brand names or trademarks and publicity of sponsored individuals are allowed.

To 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

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

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:

Although regulations prohibit false and misleading messages on tobacco product packages, the law does not prohibit other types of promotion by means that are false or misleading.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should specifically ban all false and misleading tobacco promotion.