ASA Ruling on TheGreatEvape Ltd

A paid-for TikTok ad for The featured a video of a military-style badge and silhouetted figures marching with text stating, “ENDLESS FLAVORS, LIMITLESS CHOICE FAST UK DELIVERY UNBEATABLE PRICES THOUSANDS OF PRODUCTS THEGREATEVAPE.COM”. The ASA challenged whether (1) the ad breached the CAP Code by directly or indirectly promoting unlicensed nicotine-containing e-liquids and their components in online media; and (2) TikTok had breached the rules for Video Sharing Platforms (VSPs) by including an ad for e-cigarettes. The stated it was an oversight and that there was no intentional violation of the advertising rules. TikTok claimed that an element of their moderation systems did not identify the ad as an e-cigarette promotion and prohibit it accordingly. TikTok said that e-cigarettes might appear to resemble pens, highlighters, lipstick tubes and even toys and so at times raised challenges for moderation models.

The CAP Code states that except for media targeted exclusively to the trade, marketing communications with the direct or indirect effect of promoting nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components that were not licensed as medicines were not permitted in online media and some other forms of electronic media. The ASA concluded that the ad breached the Code as it had the direct or indirect effect of promoting e-cigarettes that were not licensed as medicines in non-permitted media.

The VSP Appendix states that advertisements for e-cigarettes and refills are prohibited. That rule applies to advertising that was “marketed, sold or arranged” by VSPs, such as TikTok. As such, TikTok breached its responsibility to ensure that ads appearing in paid-for space on its platform complied with the Appendix rules.

The ASA ordered that the ad not appear again in the form complained about.


ASA Ruling on TheGreatEvape Ltd, Social media (own site), Complaint Ref. A23-1207694 (2023).

  • United Kingdom
  • Nov 1, 2023
  • Advertising Standards Authority


Plaintiff Unidentified complainant

Defendant TheGreatEvape Ltd

Legislation Cited

Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016

CAP Code

VSP Appendix

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues


Type of Tobacco Product