UK Gives Green Green Light to Ecig Ads on TV

The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice has officially given ecig companies approval to air television advertisements to promote their products. This was the first time CAP specifically addressed the ecig issue, but many were pleasantly surprised to see that vaping ads got a green light to move forward with advertising. In the past, ecig ads were allowed, but the actual electronic cigarette could not be shown on screen. This led to some really creative advertising efforts like the Gangnam baby ad from E-Lites.

CAP gave a few guidelines to companies must follow if they choose to show ecigs on screen. First, advertisements must not target kids, teens, or non-smokers and they must not portray tobacco use in a positive way.  The ads should not make any health claims or suggest that vaping is safer or healthier than tobacco. Even with these rules, which appear to be reasonable, it’s a step forward for the ecig industry. Tobacco advertising is completely banned in the UK with the exception of trade press. The new possibilities for ecig companies to advertise will undoubtedly give them a leg up on the competition.

Before releasing the new rules, CAP did a thorough examination of current ecig culture and debated whether TV ads could potentially “renormalize” smoking. However, they feel strongly that the rules they created will prevent any problems. Director Shahriar Coupal said, “We’ve moved quickly to put in place appropriate and clear regulation around e-cigarette advertising. While the debate about e-cigarettes continues our commitment is to make sure they are advertised ina  responsible way and that children are protected.”

In addition to advertisements, ecigs can already be spotted on TV in non-advertising platforms. In recent months, we’ve seen a growing trend of ecigs showing up on television shows and even on the big screen. For instance, the popular Netflix series “House of Cards” frequently shows Kevin Spacey’s character puffing on ecigs in an attempt to stop smoking. Vaping has also been hot on late night television with celebs puffing away on David Letterman and even Jimmy Kimmel.

It’s definitely a victory for the ecig industry to see television advertisements accepted by officials. Have you seen any ecig ads on TV yet?

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