Imperial has quashed concerns over the legitimacy of one of its contractors operating in Gateshead, following speculation from retailers.

Several stores in north-east England told betterRetailing they became suspicious after the worker presented an out-of-date identification card.

“A photo of the card was being circulated in a retailer WhatsApp group warning others in the area,” said a store owner.

Imperial Tobacco secret shopper scheme under fire

However, a spokesperson for Imperial confirmed the representative in question was a legitimate contractor working on their behalf.

Asked what retailers should do if they are approached by a representative they don’t recognise, they said: “They should contact their dedicated Imperial sales representative or email info@ imperial-ignite.co.uk.”

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