LANGUAGE
Last updated: November 12th 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:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. In addition, the Prime Minister’s 2009 Decision No. 1315 provides for continuous improvement on guidelines for a comprehensive ban on all direct and indirect tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship with the aim of promoting a tobacco product, manufacturer’s name or image. In light of this decision, the 2012 law is interpreted as superseding the exemption in Decree No. 119/2007 which allowed broadcast of a tobacco manufacturer’s name, address, and logo on the New Year and annual traditional day of the enterprise. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion on 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 domestic TV, radio and other broadcast media. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Domestic newspapers and magazines

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion in domestic newspapers and magazines is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to domestic newspapers and magazines. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

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.
Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, the law prohibits tobacco advertising in other domestic print media.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to other domestic print media. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

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.
Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. The law, however, makes no mention of its application to international broadcast media. Therefore, the regulatory status of "Uncertain" has been assigned.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make it clear that the ban covers tobacco advertising and promotion on both domestic and international media, including TV, radio, and other means of broadcast such as satellite and cable. In addition, the scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

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.
Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. The law, however, makes no mention of its application to international newspapers and magazines. Therefore, the regulatory status of "Uncertain" has been assigned.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should make it clear that the ban covers tobacco advertising and promotion in both domestic and international newspapers and magazines. In addition, the scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Internet communications

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

Internet communications (not sales)

Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. In addition, Decree No. 119 specifically prohibits tobacco advertising and promotion in any form.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to internet communications. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Internet tobacco product sales

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. While it might not be entirely clear that this prohibition includes a ban on internet sales since “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined, the implementation roadmap in Section I of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1315 provides for measures specifically to, among other things, ban internet sales of tobacco products to prevent minors’ access to tobacco products. Therefore, the law is interpreted as prohibiting internet tobacco product sales.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to prohibiting tobacco product sales, even if promulgated as a youth access measure.

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

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, outdoor advertising is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to outdoor advertising. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Point of sale advertising/promotion

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

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

Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion at points of sale is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to point of sale advertising and promotion, other than product displays. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

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.
Analysis:

The law specifically provides that at points of sale, the display of more than one pack, one carton or box of one cigarette brand is prohibited. Point of sale products displays are a form of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship which the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines provide should be banned. Tobacco industry documents and peer reviewed studies show how important this form of tobacco advertising and promotion is to the industry and how it is especially effective in attracting youth and undermining quitting.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, all tobacco product displays at points of sale should be included in the ban on tobacco advertising and promotion.

Vending machines

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

The law specifically bans sales of tobacco products by automatic selling machines.

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 vending machines.

Conventional mail

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion by conventional mail is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to conventional mail. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Telephone and cellular phone

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion by telephone and cellular phone is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to telephone and cellular telephone. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Brand marking on physical structures

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

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 strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although the law does not define “tobacco advertising and promotion,” this ban is interpreted as applying to tobacco brand marking in entertainment and other venues, vehicles, and equipment.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to brand marking. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Free distribution of tobacco products

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined under the law, the broadly worded ban is interpreted as covering free distribution of tobacco products. Additionally, the earlier Commercial Law’s ban on advertising and promotion of cigarettes covers free samples, gifts, and free goods and services.

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 free distribution. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Promotions with a tobacco product purchase

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

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 strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined under the law, the broadly worded ban is interpreted as covering promotional discounts, gifts, prizes and rewards in conjunction with a tobacco product purchase. Additionally, the earlier Commercial Law’s ban on advertising and promotion of cigarettes covers these kinds of promotional practices.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to promotional discounts, gifts, prizes, and rewards. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Competitions associated with tobacco products

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

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

Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined under the law, the broadly worded ban is interpreted as covering competitions associated with tobacco products or tobacco brand names. Additionally, the earlier Commercial Law’s ban on advertising and promotion of cigarettes covers gifts, prizes, and other promotional practices.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to tobacco-related competitions. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Direct person to person targeting of individuals

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

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Therefore, direct targeting of individuals with promotional or informational materials is prohibited.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to direct targeting of individuals. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Brand stretching/trademark diversification

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

Non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or carrying a brand logo or other brand indicia (brand stretching)

Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined under the law, the broadly worded ban is interpreted as covering non-tobacco products or services using tobacco brand names or other brand indicia. Additionally, the 2000-2010 Tobacco Control Policy specifically prohibits the use of tobacco trademarks and logos on non-tobacco goods and services.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Reverse brand stretching or brand sharing

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

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

Analysis:

The law strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Although “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined under the law, the broadly worded ban is interpreted as covering reverse brand stretching.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

Toys that resemble tobacco products

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

The law specifically bans selling products that resemble tobacco packs or sticks.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to toys that resemble tobacco products.

Candy that resembles tobacco products

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

The law specifically bans selling products that resemble tobacco packs or sticks.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with regard to candy that resembles tobacco products.

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.

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:

There are no provisions directly addressing retailer incentive programs or other payments to retailers to encourage the sale of tobacco products. Since “tobacco advertising and promotion” is not defined in the law, it is not clear whether commercial acts and practices such as retailer incentive programs are covered under the ban.

To fully align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law or regulations should define “tobacco advertising and promotion” and “tobacco sponsorship” as in FCTC Arts. 1(c) and (g) and make it clear that retailer incentive programs are covered by the ban.

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 strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. 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 regard to paid placement. The scope of the ban would be made clearer by defining “tobacco advertising and promotion” in the law or regulations in accordance with FCTC Art. 1(c).

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.

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:

Circular No. 25/2018, issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, prohibits the unpaid depiction of tobacco products and use in most circumstances, with exceptions for artistic purposes in theatrical or cinematographic works. Movies depicting tobacco for artistic purposes must include health warnings about the harmful effects of tobacco and be rated accordingly.

The law aligns with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines with respect to unpaid placement that is not for legitimate journalistic, artistic or academic expression or legitimate social or political commentary but it does not provide an express exemption for these forms of legitimate expression.

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 law allows tobacco companies and employees to conduct philanthropy sponsorship for prevention and control of hunger, poverty, natural disasters, epidemics, and disasters, and well as combating cigarette smuggling. Other philanthropic sponsorship by organizations and individuals trading in tobacco products are implicitly prohibited. Philanthropic sponsorship is not defined, so the scope of the prohibitions is unclear. For example, it is unclear whether sponsorship of music or sports festivals would be considered a form of philanthropic sponsorship.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibit all contributions to any 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.
Analysis:

The law prohibits organizations and individuals trading in tobacco products from announcing in the mass media about their philanthropic sponsorship to certain charitable causes. Philanthropic sponsorship is not defined, so the scope of the prohibitions is unclear. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the prohibition applies to all media around sponsored activities, or only media initiated by the tobacco industry.

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

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.

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 strictly prohibits advertising and promotion of tobacco products, direct marketing to the users of tobacco in any form, and encouraging, persuading, and coercing other people to use tobacco. Additionally, the Commercial Law bans misleading sales promotion so as to deceive customers and harmful or untruthful information.

The law also prohibits the use of misleading terms on tobacco product packaging and labeling. The circular prohibits the use on packaging and labeling of “forms or words” that are misleading in that they result in a suggestion that one tobacco product is less harmful than others or is less harmful to the human health. However, exemptions are provided for products that are registered for intellectual property in Viet Nam prior to the enactment of the law. Therefore, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.

To align with FCTC Art. 13 and the FCTC Art. 13 Guidelines, the law should prohibition promotion by any means that are false, misleading, or deceptive, including on tobacco product packaging and labeling, regardless of when the product was introduced on the market.