Tobacco company strategies for maintaining cigarette advertisements and displays in retail chain stores: In-depth interviews with Korean convenience store owners
Ji-eun Hwang 1,  
Yu-mi Oh 2,  
Yu-seon Yang 2,  
Joung-eun Lee 2,  
Sung-il Cho 1, 4  
More details
Hide details
Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Korea Health Promotion Institute, Seoul, South Korea
Gyeonggi Infectious Disease Control Center, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Publish date: 2018-10-03
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(October):46
This study gathered data from store owners regarding the advertising and display of, and the contractual arrangements and promotional activities related to, the sale of tobacco products in convenience stores.

In-depth interviews were conducted with three owners of convenience stores in South Korea: to examine the procedures for managing the sale of tobacco products; for allocating the advertising allowance for such products; and for coordinating the promotional activities of tobacco companies.

All tobacco advertisements and displays in convenience stores are installed and managed in accordance with the contract between the tobacco companies and the convenience store headquarters. The headquarters receives an allowance from the tobacco company in return for maintaining and displaying their product and promotional materials. The headquarters then pays a monthly advertising allowance to each franchisee as an operating subsidy. However, the owners also stated that tobacco companies provide financial incentives directly to them to engage in illegal promotional activities.

Because tobacco advertisements and displays at convenience stores are related to the profitability of these products, the participants in these relationships have become increasingly entangled. Illegal promotional activities must be monitored to limit tobacco sales and advertising. Furthermore, efforts to ban the advertising and display of tobacco products at the point of sale must be based on the development of policies emerging from an understanding of the roles of the major stakeholders.

Sung-il Cho   
Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
1. Hoek J, Gifford H, Pirikahu G, Thomson G, Edwards R. How do tobacco retail displays affect cessation attempts? Findings from a qualitative study. Tob Control. 2010;19(4):334-337. doi:10.1136/tc.2009.031203
2. Carter OB, Mills BW, Donovan RJ. The effect of retail cigarette pack displays on unplanned purchases: results from immediate postpurchase interviews. Tob Control. 2009;18(3):218-221. doi:10.1136/tc.2008.027870
3. Wakefield M, Germain D, Henriksen L. The effect of retail cigarette pack displays on impulse purchase. Addiction. 2008;103(2):322-328. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02062.x
4. Henriksen L, Schleicher NC, Feighery EC, Fortmann SP. A longitudinal study of exposure to retail cigarette advertising and smoking initiation. Pediatrics. 2010;126(2):232-238. doi:10.1542/peds.2009-3021
5. Johns M, Sacks R, Rane M, Kansagra SM. Exposure to tobacco retail outlets and smoking initiation among New York City adolescents. J Urban Health. 2013;90(6):1091-1101. doi:10.1007/s11524-013-9810-2
6. van der Sluijs W, Haseen F, Miller M, et al. "It looks like an adult sweetie shop": Point-of-sale tobacco display exposure and brand awareness in Scottish secondary school students. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016;18(10):1981-1988. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntw032
7. Spanopoulos D, Britton J, McNeill A, Ratschen E, Szatkowski L. Tobacco display and brand communication at the point of sale: implications for adolescent smoking behaviour. Tob Control. 2014;23(1):64-69. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050765
8. World Health Organization. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Published, 2005. Accessed December 8, 2017.
9. World Health Organization. Guidelines for implementation of Article 11 of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control. Published, 2008. Accessed December 8, 2017.
10. Gilmore AB, Fooks G, Drope J, Bialous SA, Jackson RR. Exposing and addressing tobacco industry conduct in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet. 2015;385(9972):1029-1043. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)60312-9
11. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2017: Monitoring tobacco use and pervention policies. Published July 19, 2017. Accessed November 22, 2017.
12. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2015: raising taxes on tobacco. Published, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2018.
13. Kamath N. Handbook of research on strategic supply chain management in the retail industry. IGI Global; 2016.
14. Lavack AM, Toth G. Tobacco point-of-purchase promotion: examining tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2006;15(5):377-384. doi:10.1136/tc.2005.014639
15. Tobacco Business Act. Accessed December 1, 2017.
16. National Tobacco Control Center, Korea Health Promotion Institute. Tobacco advertisement status, problems and future tasks of tobacco retailers in the education environment absolute protection zone. Published December, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2017.
17. Kim IH, Bahk JW, Yoon TH, Yun SC, Khang YH. Income differences in smoking prevalences in 245 Districts of south korea: Patterns by area deprivation and urbanity, 2008-2014. J Prev Med Public Health. 2017;50(2):100-126. doi:10.3961/jpmph.16.069
18. Feighery E, Ribisl K, Clark P, Haladjian H. How tobacco companies ensure prime placement of their advertising and products in stores: interviews with retailers about tobacco company incentive programmes. Tob Control. 2003;12(2):184-188. doi:10.1136/tc.12.2.184
19. National Health Promotion Act. Accessed December 1, 2017.
20. Carter SM. New frontier, new power: the retail environment in Australia’s dark market. Tob Control. 2003;12(suppl 3):iii95-iii101. doi:10.1136/tc.12.suppl_3.iii95
21. The Yonhap News. Convenience store owners said; This is not a sale of cigarette issue, but an allowance one related to cigarettes advertisements. Published January 6, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2017.
22. Euromonitor International Ltd. Convenience Stores in South Korea. Published January, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2018.
23. Eugene Investment & Securities Co., Ltd. BGF Retail. Published July 9, 2014. Accessed December 8, 2017.
24. Korea Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy. Sales trend of major distributors. Published January 31, 2017. Accessed March 5, 2018.
25. Boyce C, Neale P. Conducting in-depth interviews: A guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input. Pathfinder International; 2006.
26. Hsieh H-F, Shannon SE. Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qual Health Res. 2005;15(9):1277-1288. doi:10.1177/1049732305276687
27. Cummings KM, Sciandra R, Lawrence J. Tobacco advertising in retail stores. Public Health Rep. 1991;106(5):570.
28. John R, Cheney MK, Azad MR. Point-of-sale marketing of tobacco products: taking advantage of the socially disadvantaged? J Health Care Poor U. 2009;20(2):489-506. doi:10.1353/hpu.0.0147
29. Seoul Central District Court. 2013Gahab18788 Tobacco advertising expenses settlement. Published November 4, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2017.
30. Korea Fair Trade Mediation Agency. Disclosure document; GS retail convenience store. Published July 13, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2018.
31. Korea Fair Trade Mediation Agency. Disclosure document; CU BGF retail. Published July 28, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2018.
32. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic: Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Published, 2013. Accessed March 24, 2018.
33. Feighery EC, Schleicher NC, Boley Cruz T, Unger JB. An examination of trends in amount and type of cigarette advertising and sales promotions in California stores, 2002-2005. Tob Control. 2008;17(2):93-98. doi:10.1136/tc.2007.022046
34. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2016. Published March 30, 2018. Accessed August 3, 2018.
35. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2016. Published March 30, 2018. Accessed August 3, 2018.
36. Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Korea Ministry of Security and Public Administration. Government Unveils Anti-Smoking Measures. Published October 4, 2014. Accessed February 22, 2018.
37. The Money Today. Convenience store owners got a terrible shock to plan ban of advertisements in stores. Published September 12, 2014. Accessed March 5, 2018.
38. The Money Today. Convenience store owners lose their cigarette advertising fees in a lawsuit. Published March 25, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2018.
39. McDaniel PA, Malone RE. "People over profits": retailers who voluntarily ended tobacco sales. PLoS One. 2014;9(1):e85751. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085751
40. Carter OB, Mills BW, Phan T, Bremner JR. Measuring the effect of cigarette plain packaging on transaction times and selection errors in a simulation experiment. Tob control. 2012;21(6):572-577. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-0500
41. Guthrie J, Hoek J, Darroch E, Wood Z. A qualitative analysis of New Zealand retailers' responses to standardised packaging legislation and tobacco industry opposition. BMJ Open. 2015;5(11):e009521. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-00952
42. DNA. Tobacco farmers, retailers protest 85% pictorial warning; call it a 'harsh policy'. Published May 5, 2016. Accessed June 11, 2018.
43. The Yonhap News. Korea tobacco sales association,"We strongly opposed to the graphic health warning labels on tobacco products". Published November 17, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2018.
44. US Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults: a report of the Surgeon General. Published, 2012. Accessed June 12, 2018.
45. Givel MS, Glantz SA. Tobacco lobby political influence on US state legislatures in the 1990s. Tob control. 2001;10(2):124-134. doi:10.1136/tc.10.2.124
46. Apollonio DE, Bero LA. The creation of industry front groups: the tobacco industry and “get government off our back”. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(3):419-427. doi:10.2105/AJPH. 2005.081117
47. Savell E, Gilmore AB, Fooks G. How does the tobacco industry attempt to influence marketing regulations? A systematic review. PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e87389. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087389
48. World Health Organization. Tobacco industry interference with tobacco control. Published, 2009. Accessed March 13, 2018.
49. Major Tobacco Control Litigation Victories. https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.... Published, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2018.
50. Tobacco Free Kids. Tobacco advertising and promotion countering industry arguments. https://www.tobaccofreekids.or.... Published February, 2011. Accessed June 5, 2018.
51. Edwards R, Ajmal A, Healey B, Hoek J. Impact of removing point-of-sale tobacco displays: data from a New Zealand youth survey. Tob Control. 2017;26(4):392-398. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052764
52. McNeill A, Lewis S, Quinn C, et al. Evaluation of the removal of point-of-sale tobacco displays in Ireland. Tob Control. 2011;20(2):137-143. doi:10.1136/tc.2010.038141
53. Park K, Kim DS, Park DJ, Lee SK. Tobacco control in Korea. Med Law. 2004;23(4):759-780.
54. OECD. Health at a Glance. 2001. Published October 2, 2001. Accessed March 24, 2018.
55. OECD/WHO. Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2016: Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage. Published November 23, 2016. Accessed March 24, 2018.
56. Lee S, Lee K, Holden C. Creating demand for foreign brands in a 'home run' market: tobacco company tactics in South Korea following market liberalisation. Tob Control. 2014;23(3):e8. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050534
57. Stead M, Eadie D, Purves RI, Moodie C, Haw S. Tobacco companies' use of retailer incentives after a ban on point-of-sale tobacco displays in Scotland. Tob Control. 2017. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-053724
58. McDaniel PA, Malone RE. Why California retailers stop selling tobacco products, and what their customers and employees think about it when they do: case studies. BMC Public Health. 2011;11(1):848. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-848
59. Mistry R, Pednekar MS, McCarthy WJ, et al. Compliance with point-of-sale tobacco control policies and student tobacco use in Mumbai, India. Tob Control. 2018. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054290
60. Cruz TB. Monitoring the tobacco use epidemic IV. The vector: Tobacco industry data sources and recommendations for research and evaluation. Prev Med. 2009;48(1 Suppl):S24-34. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.10.002
61. Joossens L, Gilmore AB. The transnational tobacco companies' strategy to promote Codentify, their inadequate tracking and tracing standard. Tob Control. 2014;23(e1):e3-e6. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050796
62. Kim CS. A study on the conditions of franchise transaction relationships; focusing on convenience stores. Montly labor review. 2015;10:7-20.
63. Hoek J, Vaudrey R, Gendall P, Edwards R, Thomson G. Tobacco retail displays: a comparison of industry arguments and retailers' experiences. Tob Control. 2012;21(5):497-501. doi:10.1136/tc.2011.043687
64. Paynter J, Edwards R. The impact of tobacco promotion at the point of sale: a systematic review. Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(1):25-35. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntn002