A Cheshire company which used an image of an ice-cream 99 with the flake replaced with a electronic cigarette has had its ad banned by advertising watchdogs today.
Sandbach-based Ten Motives’ circular received complaints from two people who thought it could encourage children to try the product. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed saying:
“We considered the presentation, in particular the images, was likely to be appealing to children and that it therefore should not have been used in an untargeted medium that could be seen by them, for example when the mailings were posted through letterboxes. We concluded that the mailing was irresponsible, because it was likely to appeal to children and was untargeted.”
The company said the point of the making was to inform people about the different flavours it offered and denied it was intended to attract children.
“The ad was designed to appeal to smokers and Ten Motives believed it had no relevance to children, who in any case would not be attracted to e-cigarettes. They said the mailing was sent to a focused demographic who had a high propensity to be smokers and was intended to make them aware of an alternative product, given the health risks associated with smoking.”
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again.
You can read the full ASA ruling here.