ASA Ruling on British American Tobacco UK Ltd.

Following complaints by leading health organizations, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that British American Tobacco (BAT) can no longer use any public Instagram account to promote e-cigarettes in the UK. The ruling includes BAT’s use of influencer marketing to advertise e-cigarettes and orders BAT to remove unlawful e-cigarette advertising content currently on Instagram.

UK regulations clearly prohibit online advertising of e-cigarettes, but allow a manufacturer to provide factual product information such as the name, content and price of the product on its own websites. The ASA ruling has clarified that public social media accounts, like @govype run by BAT, are not analogous to a website, and therefore, neither factual nor promotional content for e-cigarettes is permitted.


ASA Ruling on British American Tobacco UK Ltd., Internet (social networking) (2019).

  • United Kingdom
  • Dec 18, 2019
  • Advertising Standards Authority



  • Action on Smoking and Health
  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products

Defendant British American Tobacco UK Ltd

Legislation Cited

Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR)

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues


Type of Tobacco Product