IQOS Hidden Self-Advertising Magazine

Philip Morris International’s Italian affiliate company Philip Morris Italia S.r.l (PMI) was found guilty of a breach of the Consumer Code as a result of 'hidden advertising.' There were a number of magazine articles that appeared in various publications in Italy, which on their face were about other subjects (e.g., how to freshen up a used car, how to cook at the right temperature), but also used part of the article to extol the virtues of IQOS, Philip Morris's heated tobacco product. The Italian Competition Authority held that this was a violation of non-transparent advertising and was in breach of the Consumer Code. PMI was fined 500,000 Euros (the maximum), and the publisher was fined 50,000 Euros.


IQOS Hidden Self-Advertising Magazine, Ruling No. 27493, Italian Competition Authority (2018).

  • Italy
  • Dec 19, 2018
  • Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato)


Plaintiff National Consumers Union (Unione Nazionale Consumatori)


  • Conti Editore S.r.l.
  • Philip Morris Italia S.r.l.

Legislation Cited

Consumer Code

Regulation on preliminary investigation procedures concerning misleading and comparative advertising, unfair commercial practices, violation of consumer rights in contracts, violation of the prohibition of discrimination and unfair terms

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues


Type of Tobacco Product