December 27, 2013

Vapor Shark Uses Santa In Advertising, Get’s Attacked

1501031_638276306220337_227456039_o
1501031_638276306220337_227456039_o
The Florida-based electronic cigarette shop Vapor Shark ran a billboard advertisement this holiday season featuring Santa Claus.  It didn’t take long for anti-smoking group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to latch on to the ad and pass it around as proof that electronic cigarettes were following in the footsteps of tobacco advertising.

Vapor Shark posted a picture of the billboard to its Facebook page and immediately sparks frustration with some members of the e-cig community.  The concern was that the ad played exactly into the hands of anti-smoking fanatics hellbent on arguing that electronic cigarette ads were targeting children.  Others simply found it irresponsible to use a children’s icon for the ad regardless of what opponents might say.

But it didn’t take long for anti-smoking groups to spot the ad.  The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has been fighting against electronic cigarettes since finding out about them with almost no consideration for the facts or the possibility of e-cigs.  They look like smoking, they must be as bad as smoking, they seem to think.  If nothing else, e-cigs represent a pretty powerful knock against the prohibitionist approach the group takes.

smoking-santa
smoking-santa
Campaign spotted the ad and did a full write-up on the use of Santa in previous smoking ads.  They even argue that Vapor Shark might have gotten the idea from smoking ads with Santa in them.

“When e-cigarette companies start shamelessly using Santa Claus to peddle their products, it’s clear the FDA needs to act quickly to regulate e-cigarettes and take steps to prevent their marketing and sale to kids.”

Granted, this is one instance we’ve seen across the whole of the U.S. (which is believe to contain between 200 and 300 e-cig companies now) which Campaign is blowing up into e-cigarette companies shamelessly using Santa, but it is difficult to take a moral high ground in favor of advertising such as this.  Is it irresponsible?  Maybe.  Should it be result in industry-wide ad bans?  Probably not.

At least this spotlight is a bit more legitimate than the one shown on EJuiceMonkeys a bit ago which argued the company used a cartoon monkey logo (one that didn’t appear anywhere other than the company’s website, Facebook, and Twitter feed) to appeal to kids.  That company doesn’t even do advertising.  This Vapor Shark billboard, however, is on interstate 95, indiscriminately visible to every man, woman, and child that rides by.

We’ve already got an e-liquid manufacturing standards organization.  Do we also need an electronic cigarettes advertising responsibility committee?

What do you think?
Fittipaldi_indy
Fittipaldi_indy
E-Lites
E-Lites
Should electronic cigarette advertising be banned?
Should electronic cigarette advertising be banned?
Summit-Studios-fin-Cultivator-5.img_assist_custom-480x314
Summit-Studios-fin-Cultivator-5.img_assist_custom-480x314
56 queries in 0.379

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up.