Profile: Jeremy Gilley

The man marketing world peace

E-cigarette advertising rules to be rewritten

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP and BCAP), the sister body of the Advertising Standards Authority responsible for writing the UK advertising code, is preparing to clamp down on the e-cigarette industry by developing a new “clear” set of advertising rules for the sector.

Ecigarette man

CAP admits the current advertising rules were not designed to regulate the relatively new product and some e-cigarette ads have been “caught” by code intended to restrict the advertising of tobacco.

The body is now exploring potential options with a view to launching a full public consultation on the advertising of e-cigarettes “as early as possible” in 2014.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has previously announced it plans to regulate e-cigarettes in the UK as medicines from 2016, which will affect the way they can be marketed to consumers. Earlier this month the European Parliament put new limits on the advertising of electronic cigarettes, restricting them from being marketed as an aide to help people quit smoking. 

However, there has been a swathe of advertising from e-cigarette companies in recent months - some of which recently fell foul of the advertising code and was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

CAP says on its website there has been “uncertainty” amongst the industry as to what e-cigarette companies can and cannot promote in their ads, which is why it is taking “swift action” to develop new advertising rules as it is important to have a “clear and responsible” framework in place.

It adds that it will provide updates, including details of the public consultation, via e-newsletters.

Earlier this week e-cigarette brand SKYCIG signed a two-year sponsorship deal with League One football club Wolverhampton Wanderers

Readers' comments (4)

  • It's way past the tipping point now - soon there'lll be more vapers than smokers - it's not a medicine so it cures nothing, it's not tobacco so the sooner they sort this the better. It's a consumer product, no more no less.

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  • Why shouldn't We be able to see the advertising of a product that actually helps to save lives.

    What ever happened to an
    (Adults informed choice)

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  • If only it was just adults seeing these. My teenager has just confirmed to my horror that e-cigs are fast becoming a cool status symbol at her school thanks largely to this sort of exposure. What next? Adverts for fruity placebo E's? "Hey they're not the real thing so it's okay to advertise them because youngsters are famous for not being tempted to go on to the grown up stuff! What could possibly go wrong?" These devices are here to assist existing smokers not encourage a generation of new ones, so why is there a need for television advertising anyway?

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  • I can't believe that an item which still contains dangerous products can be advertised on TV.

    I can't stand smoking and feel it's just a way around the current rules in place.

    The sooner this is stopped and follows the same rules and restrictions as all tobacco the better.

    We are meant to protect are young generations from such items and this is just making it except able again

    Wrong wrong wrong

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