Controversial e-cigarette ads have 'hurt' the industry, admits Blu boss

VIP: e-cigarette maker's raunchy ad fell foul of the ASA
VIP: e-cigarette maker's raunchy ad fell foul of the ASA

Controversial advertising by e-cigarette brands has "hurt the industry", according the boss of leading UK brand Blu.

In an interview with City AM, Blu chief executive Jacob Fuller admitted that the attention-seeking nature of some e-cigarette brand marketing had affected consumers’ impression of the industry.

Earlier this year, an innuendo-laden TV ad for e-cigarette maker VIP became the sixth most-complained-about ad ever, with the Advertising Standards Authority banning it from broadcast before 11pm.

Meanwhile, only last week, the ASA banned a poster by e-cigarette company Nicofresh after complaints that it was offensive on the grounds of race and age. The billboard poster, featured an elderly white woman sitting on a sofa alongside a young black man, with the tagline: "No tobacco. No taboo."

Fuller agreed such advertising should be stamped out, but urged against the kind of regulation imposed on tobacco.

He said: "Some of our competitors have made ads which hurt the industry due to their bad taste.

"E-cigarettes are a product for over-18s and the advertising rules should reflect that, similar to the rules of alcohol and gambling.

"If you start regulating us like tobacco and stop allowing e-cigarettes to be advertised, then smokers won’t be educated, and the alternative for them is to continue to smoke."

Brand Republic Jobs
Thousands of jobs across advertising, creative, marketing and media

Just published

Feel you're missing out?

Sign up

The Wall Blog

From our partners

Being Human

Whoops Adblockalypse

Huddle 2015 - as it happened