In the face of increasing media restrictions around the world, point-of-purchase promotion (also called point-of-sale merchandising, and frequently abbreviated as POP or POS) is now one of the most important tools that tobacco companies have for promoting tobacco products. Using tobacco industry documents, this paper demonstrates that tobacco companies have used point-of-purchase promotion in response to real or anticipated advertising restrictions. Their goal was to secure dominance in the retail setting, and this was achieved through well-trained sales representatives who offered contracts for promotional incentive programmes to retailers, which included the use of point-of-sale displays and merchandising fixtures. Audit programmes played an important role in ensuring contract enforcement and compliance with a variety of tobacco company incentive programmes. Tobacco companies celebrated their merchandising successes, in recognition of the stiff competition that existed among tobacco companies for valuable retail display space.