Currently, PMI has four stores in London and is planning to open four more stores in Bristol and two in Manchester to sell its heat-not-burn (HnB) tobacco devices. Following that it plans to open numerous more across the country.
Online iQOS Campaign is Suspended
Meanwhile last month, the tobacco company suspended its global iQOS social media campaign, following claims that it was using young online personalities for advertising.
PMI has said that it launched an internal investigation in response to photos sent to the company by Reuters of social media “influencer” Alina Tapilina from Moscow, who is listed as aged 21 on Instagram.
PMI’s “marketing standards” prohibit it from promoting tobacco products with youth-oriented celebrities or “models who are or appear to be under the age of 25.” In response to photos sent to the company by Reuters of social media “influencer” Alina Tapilina from Moscow, who is listed as aged 21 on Instagram, PMI said that it has launched an internal investigation.
“We have taken the decision to suspend all of our product-related digital influencer actions globally,” PMI told Reuters. “Whilst the influencer in question is a legal age adult smoker, she is under 25 and our guidance called for influencers to be 25+ years of age. This was a clear breach of that guidance.”
“No laws were broken,” added the company, “However, we set high standards for ourselves and these facts do not excuse our failure to meet those standards in this instance.” The company added: “We were deeply disappointed to discover this breach and are grateful that it was brought to our attention.”