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ASA Rules Against Emails

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against another ecig company, this time iVape London was found to have breached the advertising code

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The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against another ecig company, this time iVape London was found to have breached the advertising code. In particular, an email from iVape included text in the subject line saying, “Unwrap Your Savings! Get an exclusive offer on all Vape Kits”. The body of the email said, “Act fast, this special deal is valid for ONLY 24 Hours”. It then showed images and prices for six vaping kits.

To date, vape retailers have been led to believe it was claims on social media that they were banned from making – offering deals to adults who had signed up to an email was believed to be perfectly acceptable business practice.

The complaint about the email was lodged by an anonymous party. The complainant said they understood that “the promotion of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components were not permitted in electronic media”, and challenged that the email advert therefore breached the Code.

The Advertising Standards Authority asked iVape London Ltd t/a iVape for comment but the ecig company did not respond to the request. 

Consequently, the Advertising Standards Authority made its assessment without any input from the firm. The Advertising Standards Authority expressed its concern at the “lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code” by iVape London Ltd. It said this amounted to a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). 

We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future,” the Advertising Standards Authority said.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaint: “The CAP Code reflected a legislative ban contained in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) on the advertising of unlicensed, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components in certain media, including online and some other forms of electronic media. 

“Only factual claims about unlicensed nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components were permitted on marketer’s own websites, and, in certain circumstances, in other non-paid-for space online under the marketer’s control. Claims, therefore, promotional in nature were prohibited.

“The ad, an email, which was sent to a member of the public, highlighted six vape kits that the ASA understood all could be used with nicotine containing e-liquids. In addition, two images in the email, featured the specific vape kits alongside packaging with warnings that the products contained nicotine. Therefore, we considered that the vape kits could be used with nicotine-containing e-liquids, and as such the ad directly promoted nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.”

It stated the email went further than simple factual claims and constituted descriptive, promotional language that was not permitted under the Code.

The Authority told iVape London Ltd that the ad must not appear again. 

It added: “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.”

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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