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Advertising Standards Authority Rules on Daniels Vapes

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled on a TikTok advert run by Daniels Vapes following yet another complaint filed by an anonymous person or organisation

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The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled on a TikTok advert run by Daniels Vapes following yet another complaint filed by an anonymous person or organisation. It is becoming clear that someone is spending a lot of time looking at vape companies on TikTok in order to find things to complain about.

The Advertising Standards Authority says that a paid-for advert for Daniels Vapes appeared on the TikTok platform in July 2023. This advert, “featured a video depicting someone asleep. A thought bubble above their head depicted their dream. The scene inside the bubble panned around a shop and showed shelves of brightly coloured e-cigarette products, while music played.”

It was contended that Daniels Vapes had breached the Advertising Code by directly promoting unlicensed nicotine-containing e-liquids on online media. Also, TikTok had breached the rules for Video Sharing Platforms by yet again carrying an advert for vapes.

The Advertising Standards Authority reported: “Daniels Vapes said when they had uploaded the video they had simply been following a trend on TikTok and had not realised that it represented a breach of the Code. They believed they or another account user had accidentally marked the video as a paid ad.”

The Authority also stated: “TikTok said they took their responsibilities as a Video Sharing Platform (VSP) very seriously and were committed to keeping users safe from inappropriate paid advertising. They said the promotion of e-cigarettes was prohibited under their Advertising Policies and confirmed that the ad had been removed from the platform. They had established that an element of their moderation systems did not identify the ad as a vape promotion and prohibit it accordingly. Vapes might appear to resemble pens, highlighters, lipstick tubes and even toys and so at times raised challenges for moderation models. Since the ad in question had a very small circulation, generating fewer than 1,000 views before it was removed, it did not trigger additional rounds of moderation. TikTok added that they were continuing to review and enhance their moderation systems as part of their internal quality assurance process. They were also committed to engaging with external bodies to identify regulatory challenges and develop partnerships to educate TikTok users about the risks of such products.”

But then that’s what TikTok always says!

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaint having deemed it to breach CAP Code rule 22.12, adding “We acknowledged that Daniels Vapes had placed the ad in error. However, because the ad had the direct or indirect effect of promoting e-cigarettes that were not licensed as medicines in non-permitted media, we concluded that it breached the CAP Code. We acknowledged that TikTok’s moderation system had on this occasion not identified the ad as an e-cigarette promotion and that once notified they had taken swift action to remove it. However, because the ad was for a prohibited product, we concluded that it breached the VSP Appendix.”

The Advertising Standards Authority instructed Daniels Vapes that the advert must not appear again in the form complained about. It also reminded TikTok of their responsibility under the VSP Appendix to ensure that ads for electronic cigarettes did not appear on their platform – for what that’s worth.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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