Watchdog mauls e-cig door-drop

watchdog mauls e-cig door-drop.jpg 2A door-drop for e-cigarette brand Ten Motives has been chewed up and spat out by the ad regulator after seemingly trying to lure in kids to the world of electronic smoking.
The unaddressed leaflet featured an image of an ice cream cone with the flake replaced by an electronic fag along with the text “free flavoured refills” and “which flavour do you favour?”. It sparked  a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, which challenged whether its child-appeal made it irresponsible.
In its defence Ten Motives 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.
Bizarrely the firm also said the mailing was only likely to be seen by adults – as recipients of daily post – and that the medium was not one seen by children.
Emphasising that the products were not sold or available to those under 18 years of age, Ten Motives claimed the imagery used in the ad was therefore not irresponsible.
However, the regulator was unconvinced, believing the prominent image of an ice cream and its emphasis on flavours, could lead children to associate with ice cream flavours in that context.
The ASA also considered the presentation – and in particular the imagery – was likely to be appealing to kids and should not have been used in an untargeted medium that could be seen by them.
Concluding that the mailing was indeed irresponsible, because it was likely to appeal to children and was untargeted, the ASA ruled it must not appear again in its current form. It also warned Ten Motives to ensure future advertising was responsibly targeted.

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