​Supporting our Trade Partners through Responsible Programs​
Chris Smith, Senior Manager, Trade Marketing, Altria Group Distribution Company
​AGDC Trade Marketing works with Altria's operating company brand teams to design and communicate trade programs and in-store execution plans to best offer our brands to adult tobacco consumers. We approach marketing to the trade in a very collaborative and responsible way.
We encourage our sales force to validate that youth tobacco prevention signage is placed at the point of sale (POS) in every retail store and when it is not, to take action to ensure signage is visible. Additionally, the placement of We Card™ or equivalent signage is a contractual requirement, which clearly communicates to consumers that the sale of tobacco products will only be made after a valid form of identification has been presented and the minimum age of purchase has been met. To further support retailers in their efforts to responsibly market tobacco products, we partner with retailers that have agreed to the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance by providing them alternate POS items to meet the requirements of their agreements with select State Attorney Generals.​
We recently introduced an initiative called Consumer Coupon Intercepts, which allows our sales force to responsibly interact with adult tobacco consumers 21 years or older at retail. To ensure everyone would discuss our products and offer coupons responsibly, successful completion of a newly-developed training program had to be completed before coupons could be released to the employee. The training program taught sales employees how to ask adult tobacco consumers for identification, what to look for when it was provided, and how to refuse a consumer if they were not at least 21 years old. I'm excited to share that 98.7 percent of the sales employees who took the training, passed the exam and began successfully engaging with adult tobacco consumers at retail.​

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