Are These Racy E-Cigarette Ads Too Hot For TV?
The UK's VIP E-Cigarettes and E-Liquids have caused quite a bit of controversy due to their recent ads that less than subtly connect their E-cigarettes with oral sex.
It's your classic bait-and-switch, but this is they type that may actually leave you needing a cigarette after...
Check out two of the ads:
The ads have primarily screened online, though they did air during a Dec. 2 screening of the UK reality show, I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here--hence the intensified outrage.
VIP explains that their suggestive ads were merely an attempt to cleverly subvert the UK's restrictive cigarette advertising laws:
Due to advertising regulations we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience and communicate the superior taste of VIP products, whilst making it clear that the product does contain nicotine and that they are only available to smokers over the age of 18.
We anticipated that the creative treatment for this campaign would cause comment and we were ready for this, but I want to make it very clear that as a leading e-cigarette manufacturer we take our responsibilities extremely seriously which is evident in our decision not to broadcast the ads before the watershed and follow the advertising rules closely.
Think they succeeded? The Advertising Standards Agency is currently investigating the ads, which have received numerous complaints.
What do you think of the ads, Instincters? Did VIP go too far?