Ending Big Tobacco’s use of social media
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Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, United States
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A67
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Faced with growing restrictions on tobacco advertising, the world’s largest tobacco companies have turned to social media and influencer marketing to skirt around advertising laws and market addictive products to young people around the world.
This session will provide an in-depth look at how tobacco companies use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach billions of young people with ads for cigarettes, heated-cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
Evidence gathered by Tobacco-Free Kids over four years includes social media posts advertising tobacco online, interviews with influencers paid to advertise cigarettes, detailed social listening analytics on this strategy, and analysis of how the tactic has evolved over a four-year period.

Taking on Facebook, Instagram and other social media companies:
Following more than a year of intense campaign efforts and media advocacy led by Tobacco-Free Kids, in late 2019, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat announced that they will no longer allow influencer marketing of tobacco products on the platforms. We will discuss the key strategies and actions of this global campaign and how they led to the desired policy change from some of the world’s largest tech companies. We will highlight both global and in-country strategies, with a particular focus on the regulatory rulings in the United Kingdom that helped provide momentum to the campaign.

Looking forward: Turning policy into progress:
Presenter will conclude with an analysis of the anticipated challenges and opportunities regarding the enforcement of policies that ban tobacco companies from advertising on social media.

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