As the age old saying goes - sex sells, but it seems not everyone has been blown away by a new advert for e-cigarettes which appears to reference oral sex.
The innuendo laced advert opens with a young women suggestively speaking into the camera.
"I want you to get it out," she says, adding: "I want to see it, feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth," before it is revealed that the commercial is in fact advertising a brand of electronic cigarettes.
The advertising watchdog has now launched an investigation after it received a "significant number" of complaints following the airing of the ad just after the watershed during I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! on ITV.
A second commercial, also recently released, shows a man making similar statements including: "Do you want to see it? I can get it out if you like."
"The ASA has received a significant number of complaints about two TV ads for VIP electronic cigarettes," an Advertising Standards Agency spokesman said.
"Complainants object that the language used in the ads is overly sexual and offensive while others object that the ad sexualises and glamorises e-cigarettes and/or smoking.
"We have now launched a formal investigation into these ads."
Viewers also took to social media to express their outrage. Youtube user 'Jonseskid' wrote: "This advert is vile! It aired during the ads at 9.45pm (during the break in I'm a celebrity get me out of here on a Friday night.)
"My whole family were shocked at the depths to which advertisers will sink to sell their products. For goodness sake, this advert is so crude and offensive. Not everybody has such a filthy mind."
Louise Edwards tweeted: "I really object to VIP advert just shown on ITV talk about the wrong messages to young people watching I’m a celeb disgraceful."
Unlike real tobacco, advertising electronic cigarettes is legal, but EU rules have banned the product being displayed - this was the reason the ad was created, its makers said.
Miguel Corral, co-owner of VIP Electronic Cigarettes, told the Daily Mail: "I think it’s safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push boundaries.
"Due to advertising regulations we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience and communicate the superior taste of VIP products, whilst making it clear that the product does contain nicotine and that they are only available to smokers over the age of 18."
Although e-cigarettes are considered to be a healthier alternative to smoking, as well as containing nicotine, other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals have also been identified by US and French tests on a number of different rechargeable and disposable products.
Thee TV adverts for E-Lite electronic cigarettes were banned by the ASA in September after it said the company did not make it clear that the products contained nicotine.
Watch the advert here:
- More about:
- Market Research
- Social Media
- The Daily Mail