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Instagram posts banned for promoting e-cigarettes

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Four vape firms have had Instagram posts banned for promoting e-cigarettes

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against Mylo Vape, Attitude Vape, Ama Vape Lab and Vype makers, British American Tobacco.

All the banned posts were on Instagram.

Complaints were brought from agencies Action on Smoking and Health, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products.

These agencies also challenged the use of a 24-year-old model in one of Vype’s posts.

Current regulations in the UK prohibit promotional advertising of e-cigarettes on social media.

The BAT ruling stated:

“[BAT] said their online communications aimed to impart factual information regarding their products but stopped short of direct or indirect promotion.”

BAT responded to say that their posts were not promotional and were factual in nature.

However, the ASA ruled that many posts contained “content which clearly went beyond the provision of factual information and was promotional in nature.”

A third complaint was brought against BAT, arguing their posts featuring Lily Allen and House of Holland appealed to under-18s.

The ASA did not uphold those complaints.

They said in the ruling:

“We understood House of Holland was a fashion brand that produced clothes for adults and did not produce a range of clothes for children.

“We therefore considered references to the brand itself would be unlikely to appeal particularly to under 18s.”

The following responses were issued in response to the ASA rulings:

“Ama Vape Lab Ltd said that they removed the post in question and reviewed their other social media posts.”

“1. Mylo Vape UK accepted that the post could be regarded as indirectly promotional and was beyond purely being factual. They said they were unable to restrict users viewing the post as a general rule, but they could reduce the visibility of a particular post by not adding hash tags to it. Mylo Vape UK believed the Instagram platform was analogous to a website and therefore sharing factual information was permitted.

2. Mylo accepted that the image may have appeared to be of someone under 25, but said they were unable to verify the age of the individual.”

“Attitude Vapes did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.”

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