New Philip Morris website gives view from Down Under

Dee Sedani and Ralph Patel

Philip Morris (PML) has developed an online educational and interactive website for UK tobacco retailers.

The MyDrive Online website, which is live now, features videos and other content to help usher retailers into the era of plain packaging. A MyDrive Online app is also available from both Apple’s App and Google’s Play Stores.

Accessible to all retailers on registration, MyDrive Online includes:

  • Educational videos
  • PML brand and pricing knowledge
  • Modules that clarify the do’s and don’ts of plain packaging
  • Interactive puzzles to test retailer selling skills
  • An online profile for each retailer, and entry to an online community where retailers can share insights, learnings and concerns
  • An opportunity to feedback on general “hot” trade topics
  • A rewards programme for Drive members.

In preparation for the smooth transition to plain packaging, Philip Morris sent NFRN president Ralph Patel and award-winning retailer Dee Sedani to Australia to learn how retailers there have managed the transition to plain packaging since it came into force in 2012.

The two retailers were in front of the camera during their trip to star in a series of ‘Plain & Gain’ videos, which document both theirs and Australian retailers’ first-hand experiences, for exclusive broadcast on MyDrive Online. The aim is to openly share the real plain packaging topics that retailers need to address. The videos include information on how to organise the gantry, how to maintain footfall, key preparation strategies for staff and how to support the launch of new SKUs.

Ralph Patel said: “Meeting like-minded retailers who have experienced the process first hand means PML can, through our videos, help educate the UK trade on best practice to cope with plain packaging.”

Dee Sedani added: “I urge retailers to watch the videos to really understand the issues that they will face before and after plain packaging hits their stores. It is essential that they plan now, know their products and get their prices right in order to win in the marketplace.”

Jerry Margolis, PML sales director, commented: “We are committed to the retailer during this difficult transition period and have invested in awareness and education to help them adapt their business to plain packaging. MyDrive contains essential information in an immersive and engaging format, which we strongly advise retailers to read and watch to ensure that their transition is relatively simple without a noticeable downtrend in business.”