The RELX Pledge is our commitment to corporate accountability, centered around protection: the protection of minors, the protection of consumers, and the protection of economic livelihoods. RELX International pledges to contribute to the communities where we operate under the three key pillars of: Guardian Program, Golden Shield, and Green Shoots.
Protecting Minors, Preventing Misuse
Since RELX International’s inception, it has been our commitment to prevent and discourage the use of e-cigarettes by minors and people who are not smokers. In order to protect minors from accessing e-cigarette products, we developed the Guardian Program, a company-wide initiative that stretches from sales and marketing. RELX International supports effective legislation and regulation to prevent the purchase and use of our products by minors.
We are committed to abiding by and upholding all laws and regulations in every market where we operate, and sometimes even go beyond these laws in order to prevent our products from being attractive to youth.
From our very first product packaging, RELX International has printed bold reminders on the packaging of our products and product manuals with the words, “Not for Minors” and “Keep clear of Children”. We also ensure that all our product packaging and marketing material bears a health warning, even in markets where such warnings are not required by laws. We never use any models that are under 25 in any of our marketing material, and our official websites are age-gated to ensure minors are not able to purchase RELX products.
There have been suggestions among some stakeholders that certain flavours and flavour names are particularly attractive to the youth. While the evidence from extensive research has shown the contrary, and we believe that providing adult smokers with flavoured vaping products is critical in enabling them to switch away from cigarettes, we have nonetheless decided to adopt neutral names such as “Fresh Red” and “Dark Sparkle” to further reduce their potential attractiveness to youth. We do this in all markets except those where the law requires the actual names of our flavours to be indicated on our packaging.
To avoid establishing stores in areas with a high density of minors, we carefully select locations for our official RELX Stores so that no stores are sited within 50 m from any point of the perimeter of a school, playground or other facility frequented by minors (including but not limited to: daycare/preschool, video game arcade, children’s gym, tuition centre).
In addition RELX International has established reseller terms that include monitoring and penalties for noncompliance with the Guardian Program. The Company is committed to continuing to develop new technologies and systems to keep e-cigarette products away from minors. The company will also continue to educate commercial partners to implement and strengthen the Guardian Program at the local level.
Upholding Quality, Safeguarding Consumers
Preventing the production and sale of counterfeit e-cigarette products is one of the main challenges currently facing the e-cigarette industry. Counterfeit e-cigarette products pose serious potential health risks to consumers. While governments and local authorities work to implement stronger enforcement methods to rid the market of these harmful products, international e-cigarette companies can and should do more to aid them in this global fight to offer consumers products that abide by safety standards by undergoing stringent quality checks.
At the same time, we have observed the emergence on the market of non-RELX-branded e-cigarette pods that claim to be compatible with RELX devices. These products often do not undergo the same rigorous quality controls that RELX International prides itself in, and could thus be of questionable quality.
RELX International established the Golden Shield Program in 2019 to help prevent the production and sale of such illicit e-cigarette goods. With the goal of safeguarding adult e-cigarette users’ right to access quality products, members of RELX International’s Golden Shield Program utilize large amounts of data and other technologies to track down illicit e-cigarette products sold online and offline. The Golden Shield team actively works with online social media platforms, online e-commerce platforms, as well as Customs authorities to eliminate illicit vaping products from the market.
The Golden Shield team monitors and tracks illicit e-cigarette products sold online around the world. Through in-depth investigations, the team is able to discover and track the complete illicit product supply chain, including the production, distribution, and sale of illicit e-cigarette products.
The Golden Shield team has helped authorities launch 28 criminal cases related to the illegal production and sale of illicit or copyright-infringing e-cigarette products. Over 77,000 websites and over 6,000 social media accounts have been taken down due to the Golden Shield team’s efforts and 550,000 illicit products have been removed from the market.
RELX International has developed authentication solutions to help combat counterfeit RELX products. There are two ways for RELX users to verify the authenticity of RELX products. First, RELX users can either authenticate their product by entering the authentication code of a RELX product on the RELX International website. The second solution is to use a QR code scanner on their mobile phone to scan the QR code on any RELX product package. For further instructions on how to scan the QR code on RELX products, click here.
Championing Entrepreneurship, Empowering Small Businesses
Startups and small businesses are the economic backbone of societies around the world, providing innovative solutions and services to their customers. However, in times of rapid change and globalization, they face disproportionate business challenges.
We understand the struggle as we are a young startup company ourselves. The Green Shoots programme is RELX International’s initiative to give back to the communities in which we operate, by using our experience to help other aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners get their businesses on the right track to business growth and success.
The RELX Academy is a global initiative to provide entrepreneurs with the skills to achieve business growth and success.
In partnership with top online course provider edX, RELX International will sponsor courses curated by leading global universities to equip budding entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed in starting their own businesses.
To empower successful graduates of the RELX Academy further, RELX International will favourably consider these participants should they subsequently express interest to run and operate a coveted RELX Store around the world.
RELX International will provide such entrepreneurs that finish the RELX Academy with the following incentives:
· No franchise fee
· Design support
· Furniture support
· POSM support
· Opening promotion and training
· Product support
The RELX Academy is currently in pilot phase in the Philippines. Each regular Philippines change to RELX Store owner receives support of up to PHP 300,000; RELX International will provide Academy participants with additional product support of up to PHP 1,700,000.
To learn more about the RELX Academy courses and opportunities, please visit: https://partnerships.edx.org/relx-academy