ASA Keeping a Tight Hold Over E Cigarette Advertising
In November 2014 e cigarette retailers and manufacturers were granted permission to advertise their products on national television. For many in the industry this was a huge victory, not only allowing them to explain e cigarettes and e liquids better to smokers but also by widening the gap between tobacco smoking and vaping, showing would-be consumers how different yet how similarly enjoyable e smoking may be due to its massive range to e liquids flavours available.
Those against the lifting of the ban shared fresh concerns that doing so, when tobacco cigarettes may not be advertised on television, would normalise smoking once more, making it glamourous and "cool", and potentially making it more attractive to minors.
Thankfully not only have the ASA put in place strict rules and regulations regarding what e cigarette advertisers may and may not do and say on television they have also been proactive with regards to clamping down on any advertisements they feel push against or break these rules.
Very recently after receiving just five complaints the advertising watchdog investigated and pulled one e cigarette advert from the air. They shared public concerns that this particular advert made e cigarettes appear to be the same in many ways to tobacco cigarettes (the vapour blown was made to look very much like cigarette smoke) and overall was considered overly intimate and indeed appear to make smoking look glamourous.
While the company involved is unimpressed and maintains that complaints were unfounded and that their advertisement did adhere to regulations others can't help but see that the ASA being so keen is a good thing. Clearly e cigarettes have been widely accepted on a global scale however it is still a fairly new industry, with the first e cigarettes only coming onto the market (in China) in 2004. Being so new many e cigarette and vape retailers and manufacturers still feel they have something to prove.
Being allowed to advertise on television has been a huge success for the industry and so those involved are keen to show that this decision should not be reversed by adhering to watchdog rules and encouraging even more regulation. Many feel that additional regulation offers the e cigarette market a more solid base in society's opinion which will only serve to strengthen the market as more and more people move over from tobacco smoking to the cleaner e smoking alternative.