ASA Ruling on Hing Fo International Ltd t/a ALFABAR

A poster for ALFABAR, an e-cigarette brand, stated “OUT OF THIS WORLD” in light blue on a black background with a pink graffiti-style graphic. Beneath that were two devices, styled to look like alien heads, each with green luminescent eyes. An arrow pointing to the eyes of one of the devices stated “LED light effect eyes”.  

Complainant Adfree Cities challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it appealed to people under 18 years old.  The ASA concluded that the ad violated the CAP Code because it was likely to appeal to minors. The advertised product resembled a child’s toy and the colors and language used, which gave the ad a sci-fi theme, contributed to that overall appeal. For this reason, the CAP Code was breached, and the ad must not appear again in the form complained of.

Complainant also challenged whether the ad had been appropriately placed because it appeared in a public space where children were likely to see it.  The CAP Code requires that no medium should be used to advertise e-cigarettes if more than 25% of its audience is under the age of 18. The ASA concluded that the ad’s placement did not breach the Code. While children may have seen the ad, it is unlikely that people under 18 comprised more than 25% of the audience.


ASA Ruling on Hing Fo International Ltd t/a ALFABAR, Poster, Complaint Ref. A24-1228196 (2024).

  • United Kingdom
  • Mar 20, 2024
  • Advertising Standards Authority


Plaintiff Adfree Cities

Defendant Hing Fo International Ltd t/a ALFABAR

Legislation Cited

CAP Code

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues


Type of Tobacco Product