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

Whitehall Editor

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz