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Advertiser: Centra- Griffeen Store
Medium: Online – Company Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.2. 3.3, 17.1, 17.2, 17.4, 17.9, 17.10, 17.11
A TikTok on the store’s TikTok account included images of two staff members. In one image, one of the staff members was holding a vape to camera to publicise the fact that the vape brand were in stock.
The complainant considered that the two staff members featured were under 25 years of age and that the product should not have been promoted on a platform that was heavily used by under 18’s.
The advertisers requested a copy of the correspondence; however, no further response was received.
Under the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/14/EU , commercial communications relating to e-cigarettes and refill containers are prohibited from being advertised in various media, including a company’s own website and other non-paid for online space under the advertisers’ control.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint. The Complaints Committee expressed concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee noted the Code requirements that a marketing communication should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society (3.3); that marketing communications for e-cigarettes should be socially responsible (17.1); that marketing communications should not be likely to appeal particularly to people under 18, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture. They should not feature or portray real or fictitious characters who are likely to appeal particularly to people under 18. People shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role should not be shown behaving in an adolescent or juvenile manner (17.9); and that people shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role should neither be, nor seem to be, under 25. People under 25 may be shown in an incidental role but should be obviously not using e-cigarettes (17.10) and that marketing communications should not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise e-cigarettes if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age (17.11). The Committee also noted the requirements of the Directive in regard to advertising of e-cigarettes.
The Committee noted that no evidence had been provided to show that the advertising had not been directed at under 18’s, nor appeal to under 18’s, and no evidence had been provided that the people featured in the content were over 25 years of age. In the light of this, and in the absence of a response from the advertisers, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 3.1, 17.1, 17.9, 17.10 and 17.11 of the Code.
The advertising must not reappear in its current form.