Connecting With Our Consumers
Marketing activities are intended to connect brands with their adult tobacco and wine consumer audiences by reinforcing the brand identity, positioning and value. Dedicated brand teams and the digital and marketing teams develop annual plans that use a variety of activities, tools and channels, including a substantial age-verified adult tobacco consumer database, to engage with adult consumers.
We connect with adult consumers in ways designed to limit reach to unintended audiences. For example, our companies use brand websites to communicate with adult tobacco and wine consumers. To gain access, we require visitors to confirm that they are adults and meet the websites' minimum age requirement. Some of our companies' websites sell e-vapor products and accessories or wine. In these instances, our companies use an age-verification process to confirm the consumer is of legal age to purchase the products. Our companies also comply with all laws involving the sale and delivery of e-vapor products and wine.
If our tobacco companies use print advertising, they limit these ads to newspapers, magazines and other publications that meet the criteria of an "adult publication" under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s proposed definition. Under this standard, an adult publication is one:
- whose readers younger than 18 years old make up 15 percent or less of the total readership as measured by competent and reliable survey evidence; and
- that is read by fewer than 2 million persons younger than 18 as measured by competent and reliable survey evidence.
Marketing programs vary among our tobacco companies and their brands.
Examples of our tobacco companies marketing practices include:
- connecting with adult tobacco consumers through direct mail and websites
- supporting product launches in adult-only facilities;
- working with retailers to merchandise tobacco products responsibly and supporting the We Card® program; and
- denying requests to use their brands in movies, television, video games and other entertainment media; and advertising only in publications that meet the FDA's criteria.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates works with leading industry groups committed to the responsible promotion and sale of wine to adults, including the Washington State Wine Commission
, Washington Wine Institute
, Wine Institute
and Wine America
Ste. Michelle also:
- complies with the Wine Institute's Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping which addresses direct shipments of wine to adult consumers and compliance with federal and state laws;
- uses an age-verification process for direct-to-consumer sales on its branded websites;
- educates its employees about age verification when serving adult consumers; and
- educates its employees about how to properly present and serve wine at the company's facilities and sponsored events.