New guidance on electronic cigarette advertising

New guidance on electronic cigarette advertising

New guidance on electronic cigarette advertising

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has published a new rule relating to the advertising of electronic cigarettes. 

The new rule prohibits the advertising of unlicensed, nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes in some non-broadcast media. In practice this prohibits the marketing of e-cigarettes, e-liquids and component products which both contain nicotine and are not licensed as a medicine by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The prohibition only applies to: 

1. Marketing communications which are “not targeted exclusively to the trade“

2. Communications in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, online media and “some other forms of electronic media”. The guidance suggests that “some other forms of electronic media” includes a wide variety of media, for example commercial email and text messaging, banner and pop-up advertisements, in-app advertising and preferential listings on price comparison sites among others. 

Marketers should take notice that they are compliant with up-to-date CAP code guidance around the advertising of electronic cigarettes and related products if they are advertising in almost any form to consumers. Although non-nicotine products can currently still be advertised, cross promotions relating to any products containing nicotine will not be permitted. 

The full CAP advice can be found on its website.

For more information on any of the issues raised, please contact a member of the commercial team at Stevens & Bolton. 

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