Vype e-cig advert: Big Tobacco offers ‘pure satisfaction’ in its return to TV
British American Tobacco has launched a TV, press and poster campaign for its e-cigarette, Vype
A man and a woman run down a street before taking off into the air with a tail of white mist behind them. Both have an exaggerated look of contentment in their eyes. A voiceover tells the viewer: “Pure satisfaction for Vypers.”
Confused? Well, so probably were many people watching the ITV ad break at 9.45pm on Monday night. But they were witnessing a small television landmark: the return to our screens of Big Tobacco advertising for the first time in nearly 50 years.
British American Tobacco (BAT) on Monday heralded its foray into the lucrative e-cigarette market with a TV, press and poster campaign for Vype, its electronic substitute for smoking. Over the next few months the advert is slated to appear more than 300 times in the breaks between shows as diverse as Brit Cops: Zero Tolerance, Mock The Week, and even 24 Hours in A&E.
The total campaign is expected to cost BAT several million pounds as it attempts to establish a foothold in a market which is already worth $3 billion worldwide. But health campaigners are warning that while they are supportive of advertising which encourages smokers to exchange tobacco products for e-cigarettes, they are concerned that the products could become a gateway into tobacco for the young.
Warning: Not suitable for under-18s
Certainly the Vype advert appears falls squarely into the ‘ aspirational’ model. While it does not compare to the old slogans of 1950s tobacco advertising such as "more doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarette", it does suggest that "Vypers" are young, good-looking and attractive. Even its catch-line, "Experience the Breakthrough" seems to suggest that e-cigarettes might be something worth trying.
BAT deny this, saying the advert will not be shown before the watershed. "We have created an advert that we believe markets Vype appropriately and responsibly for its target audience," said Des Naughton, managing director at Nicoventures, the BAT subsidiary that launched Vype.
But Anna Gilmore, Professor of Public Health at the University of Bath, said she was worried e-cigarettes could glamorise smoking again. "While e-cigarettes could represent a real opportunity for public health because smokers would be way better off on e-cigarettes than cigarettes, there is also a danger that the extensive advertising of e-cigarettes, which look almost identical to cigarettes, will re-glamourise smoking and encourage uptake among young people again," she said.
The Advertising Standards Authority admitted that currently there are no specific rules regarding e-cigarette marketing and that adverts merely have to ensure they do not contain anything likely to be misleading, harmful or offensive. But they are about to launch a consultation on potential specific restrictions in the next few weeks.
"The consultation will cover all aspects of the advertising of e-cigarettes and seek input from a range of experts," said a spokeswoman.
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...