Phillips & King, distributor of tobacco products and accessories in the United States, has signed an agreement partnering with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Inc. (NATO) to help their customers address legislative issues affecting the tobacco industry. NATO is a trade association that was created to further business interests of all tobacco retailers through education, information, and activation. It takes a proactive approach to inform members about pending legislation and regulations, and advises elected local, state, and national officials about the impacts of proposed legislation. Through the newly-formed partnership, all current Phillips & King licensed tobacco customers will be automatically enrolled as affiliate-level members of the NATO organization.
With their affiliate memberships, the Phillips & King retailers will receive information and assets to help them actively participate in issues that directly affect their livelihood. These include:
• Alerts about tobacco-related legislative activities on local, state, and national levels
• Call-to-action instructions for business owners when a local issue is pending
• Local field staff to educate them on relevant topics
• Pre-drafted communications to customize and send to legislators
“This partnership with Phillips & King represents a major endeavor against restrictive local tobacco ordinances and state legislation across the country that threaten tens of thousands of family-owned businesses nationwide,” says Tom Briant, Executive Director of NATO. “By leveraging Phillips & King’s retail customer reach with NATO legislative efforts, we will work together to protect the right of retailers to sell legal tobacco products.”
As part of the arrangement, Tom Briant will be a returning speaker at the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE), an annual tradeshow held by the Tobacco Media Group, (owned by parent company Kretek International, Inc., who also owns Phillips & King). The event includes a conference circuit that Mr. Briant will participate in, which provides a prime opportunity to reach a large amount of retailers with the latest legislative information and resources for support.
For 2017, all current Phillips & King customers will be automatically enrolled as affiliate-level NATO members, with their registration fees covered for the calendar year, and renewals each year the customer remains active. Membership information will be sent to Phillips & King customers via email, and each customer will also begin to receive regular NATO News bulletins with up-to-date information on local, state, and federal tobacco issues.
“We have been serving the tobacconist business for over 110 years,” says Sergio Montolfo, General Manager of Phillips & King. “There has never been a more important time for the tobacco retailer to get involved and take an active part in fighting the anti-tobacco legislation affecting all of our businesses. Phillips & King is known for offering quality products and exceptional customer service. We are pleased to also now provide our customers with information and a louder voice that enables them to make a positive difference for the industry.”
For more information about the Phillips & King and NATO partnership, please visit www.phillipsandking.com.