RELX International launched its company-wide initiative, RELX Pledge, at an exclusive digital event attended by members of the press from around the world. The three-pronged initiative is grounded on the protection of minors, consumers, and economic livelihoods.and is guided by three key pillars: Guardian Program, Golden Shield, and Green Shoots.
Speaking at the exclusive event, Leina Chedid, Head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, discussed RELX International’s Guardian Program – a company-wide initiative that stretches from product development to sales, preventing and discouraging the use of vape products by minors through joint efforts with retailers to step up on-site identification.
“Since our inception, youth prevention has been an integral part of RELX International’s core company values,” said Chedid. “Our Guardian Program applies across all our sales and marketing and supports effective legislation and regulation to prevent the purchase and use of our products by minors,” she added.
Meanwhile, RELX International’s Global Head of External Affairs, Jonathan Ng, announced the steps the brand is taking to ensure that there are industry-wide efforts taken to prevent e-cigarette use among minors, including eradication of counterfeit products.
Its Golden Shield initiative, a partnership with a number of its stakeholders including engagement of customs officials, is designed to safeguard consumers by eliminating counterfeit, contraband, and compatibles from the e-cigarette market.
Said Ng, “RELX International ensures that its products are only manufactured to meet extremely high quality standards with stringent inspection controls. Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit RELX and other smuggled products of unknown content out there. We are working closely with investigation firms, e-commerce platforms and local authorities to weed out such products from the market.”
RELX’s Golden Shield has assisted in 28 successful cases, removing over 550,000 fake products from the market and over 77,000 websites since January 2020.The brand has worked with local authorities in China to seize counterfeit products, some of which are destined for the Philippines. In the Philippines, the company is also exploring working with the authorities to tackle illicit trade by sharing intelligence.
Ng also discussed RELX’s Green Shoots Program, an initiative created to give back to the community, using the brand’s experience to help other aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners get their businesses on track to business growth and success.
“Startups and small businesses are the economic backbone of societies around the world. As a company that grew from a startup ourselves, we understand the numerous challenges that small businesses encounter daily. Through the Green Shoots program, we hope to share our experience and knowledge to help them get on the right track towards growth and success,” he affirmed.
Under the Green Shoots program, the company is also set to unveil the RELX Academy, wherein RELX will sponsor courses curated by leading global universities on the edX platform to equip budding entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed in starting their own businesses.
The RELX Academy is currently in its pilot phase in the Philippines. Each regular Philippines franchisee receives support of up to PHP 300,000, with RELX International providing Academy participants with additional product support of up to PHP1.7M.
“The RELX Pledge is designed to help introduce a new era of responsibility and safety in the vaping industry” emphasized Ng.“We genuinely hope it will provide a better future for everyone, meaning that only genuine RELX products – all produced to the highest and safest standards – are used by adult vapers or adults looking for an alternative to smoking cigarettes”
“Protecting minors is an issue we take very seriously, as our Pledge commitment shows. We sincerely hope that others in the industry take this lead and also commit to this new era of responsibility.”
Components of the RELX Pledge will be rolled-out globally throughout 2021, and will be further enhanced in 2022. The RELX Pledge will be localized in countries in which RELX International holds a market presence to account for applicable local customs, cultures, and traditions.
Furthermore, the company will provide regular updates on the progress of the RELX Pledge initiative to ensure its strategic goals and objectives are being met. RELX International executives will be regularly measured on their performance on corporate and social responsibility metrics, of which the RELX Pledge will be a fundamental pillar.