UK bans four companies from promoting e-cigarette on Instagram
Four vaping companies including British American Tobacco (BAT) have been banned from promoting e-cigarettes on Instagram. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Wednesday directed the companies to not post any promotions on the social networking application.
The posts reportedly featured models and celebrities such as Lily Allen holding e-cigarettes. Apart from BAT, the other companies are Ama Vape, Attitude Vapes and Global Vaping Group.
The issue was raised because the companies were reportedly promoting e-cigarettes and featuring models who appeared to be under 25, which is banned under the advertising code.
”While the ASA ruling is great news, urgent policy change is needed from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to prevent BAT and other tobacco companies from using social media to advertise their harmful products to young people around the world,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement.
In its ruling, the authority said it is banning six posts from BAT, including one wishing Allen good luck with an image of her holding a Vype e-cigarette.
The concerned body said any future vape posts “should not be made from a public Instagram account” unless “they would only be distributed to those following their account and would not be seen by other users”.
“It used these platforms to interact with users when they ask questions or request information and to communicate factual information about Vype that adults vapers and smokers wanted,” BAT said in a statement. Ama Vape said it had removed its post and reviewed its other social-media content.
*Edited from an IANS report.