VIP ‘tones down’ latest ads following watchdog rap

 VIP Electronic Cigarettes is to return to television with a “toned down” ad after its last campaign was rapped for being ‘overly sexual’.


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The brand’s last spot received more than 1,150 complaints, making it the sixth most complained about ad of all time. The Advertising Standards Authority criticised the campaign in February for its “sexually provocative presentation” of a woman and man who appeared over two TV spots and made suggestive comments about the e-cig product, including: “Put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes.”

The new advert, which breaks on Monday (5 May) during the Coronation Street ad break on ITV1, features the same female model talking to camera but with a different script that is less overtly sexual, the brand claims. The ad also puts greater focus on the product itself.

Dave Levin, co-founder of VIP, says: “While the first ad was successful in that it raised a huge amount of awareness for us, we are all about taste, so we recognised the need to respond to the complaints with our new creative output.”

The campaign by marketing agency 438 Marketing will run for four weeks on ITV 1 with online support.

In February the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the sister body of the ASA responsible for writing the advertising code, launched a public consultation into e-cigarette advertising that could result in new rules designed to stop the indirect promotion of tobacco products. The consultation is designed to address public concern over e-cig advertising, protect young people and provide clarity for advertisers. 

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