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ASA Rules Against Vaping Company’s Email Stating It Violated Advertising Regulations

By Oliver Smith 2nd July 2024 3 Mins

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In a recent ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has clamped down on email promotions by vape companies, marking a significant shift in the regulation of e-cigarette advertising.

The email in question from iVape London featured a subject line that enticed recipients with, “Unwrap Your Savings! Get an exclusive offer on all Vape Kits,” and included promotional language urging quick action: “Act fast, this special deal is valid for ONLY 24 Hours.”

Accompanying the text were images and prices for six different vape kits, clearly aiming to drive immediate sales.

The complaint was lodged by an anonymous individual who argued that the promotion of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes via electronic media violated existing advertising codes.

The ASA, which oversees adherence to these regulations, reached out to iVape London for their response.

However, iVape did not respond to the ASA’s inquiry. 

Due to the lack of response, the ASA proceeded with the assessment independently and expressed concern over iVape London’s disregard for the code and the ASA’s processes.

This non-compliance was deemed a breach of CAP Code rule 1.7, which deals with unreasonable delay and lack of cooperation.

The ruling cited the CAP Code and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), which prohibit advertising unlicensed nicotine-containing e-cigarettes in certain media, including online and other electronic media.

In a report the ASA said:

“Marketing communications that promote nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components to consumers, which were not licensed as medicines, should not be made in their emails.”

While factual information about such products is allowed on marketers’ own websites, promotional content is strictly forbidden in paid or unsolicited communications.

The ASA’s decision underscored that the promotional nature of iVape London’s email was in direct violation of these rules.

The email highlighted vape kits that could be used with nicotine-containing e-liquids, thereby promoting nicotine-containing e-cigarettes rather than merely providing factual information.

As a result, the ASA ordered that the email advertisement must not be used again and reinforced the prohibition against promoting nicotine-containing e-cigarettes in emails.

The ruling serves as a stern reminder to all vape retailers about the new stringent regulations governing the advertising of their products.

This decision marks an important development in the ongoing effort to regulate the marketing of e-cigarettes, ensuring that advertising practices align with public health standards.

The ASA’s firm stance on this issue highlights the regulatory body’s commitment to upholding the advertising codes and protecting consumers from potentially misleading promotions.

For vape companies, this ruling signals a need to reassess their marketing strategies and ensure compliance with advertising regulations to avoid similar repercussions.

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Oliver Smith