ASA Takes Action: In a recent development, the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has taken decisive action against vaping advertisements that blatantly violated TikTok’s own guidelines. TikTok’s community rules clearly prohibit the promotion of tobacco products, including vaping and e-cigarettes. Nevertheless, several videos promoting brands such as Zovoo, Innofly HK, Vapes Bars, and The Disposable Vape Store managed to slip through and appear on the platform.
Table of Contents: ASA Takes Action
New SKE Amare Crystal
One such video, promoting The Disposable Vape Store, featured a man standing in front of shelves of e-cigarettes, enthusiastically showcasing the “new SKE Amare Crystal” and remarking on their popularity. This particular video was among approximately 300 posts reported to the ASA. The ASA’s stance is clear: it prohibits ads for e-cigarettes containing nicotine that are not licensed as medicines. ASA Takes Action
The Disposable Vape Store, upon being contacted by the ASA, claimed that it had seen rival shops running TikTok ads and believed it was within the rules. Nevertheless, they pledged not to repeat the offense. Innofly HK’s case involved an influencer rapping about its Waka vapes, which raised concerns. Innofly HK assured the ASA that it was taking all necessary steps to adhere to marketing regulations and would refrain from posting ads on TikTok. ASA Takes Action
Monitoring social media
Vapes Bars also committed to monitoring social media for any rule-breaking content related to its brand and promptly removing such posts. However, Zovoo was the sole company that did not respond to the ASA’s inquiries, raising further questions about their compliance. ASA Takes Action
The ASA emphasized that cracking down on vaping advertisements on social media is a top priority due to concerns about youth vaping and ads appearing where they shouldn’t, potentially targeting individuals under 18. Brands that fail to address these issues will face targeted enforcement action. ASA Takes Action
TikTok, in response to these developments, directed attention to its community guidelines, which explicitly prohibit the promotion of vaping, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products. A TikTok spokesperson emphasized their commitment to working with the ASA to ensure advertisers and creators adhere to these guidelines and the CAP Code. ASA Takes Action
ASA Takes Action: This issue emerges at a time when there are growing calls to ban disposable vapes in the UK, citing health and environmental concerns. As the ASA takes steps to enforce regulations, the debate over the broader implications of vaping and its promotion continues to unfold.
In conclusion, the recent ban on vaping advertisements that flouted TikTok’s own rules by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) underscores the growing concerns surrounding the promotion of tobacco and vaping products, especially to young audiences. TikTok, like many social media platforms, has strict guidelines in place to prevent the marketing of such items, reflecting broader societal concerns about the health and wellbeing of young people.
The ASA’s decisive action in response to these rule violations sends a clear message to both advertisers and social media platforms. It demonstrates that regulatory bodies are actively monitoring digital spaces and are committed to enforcing regulations to protect vulnerable audiences, particularly those under the age of 18.
Some brands claimed ignorance of the rules
While some brands claimed ignorance of the rules, ignorance is no longer an excuse, as the ASA has made it clear that ignorance will not exempt brands from compliance. Brands that seek to engage with young audiences on social media platforms must do so responsibly and within the confines of the law.
This issue also highlights the broader debate about the impact of vaping on public health and the environment. Calls to ban disposable vapes in the UK based on health and environmental concerns remain a subject of ongoing discourse.
As we move forward, it is imperative that both regulators and social media platforms remain vigilant in their efforts to curb the promotion of harmful products and protect the welfare of the younger generation in the digital age. The ASA’s commitment to targeted enforcement action serves as a reminder that rules and regulations are not to be taken lightly, and compliance is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the advertising ecosystem.