ASA Adjudication on Vapourlites Ltd
An advertisement and website for e-cigarettes showed a hand dressed like Santa and claimed that the product is “recommended by Santa and pharmacies nationwide” and is “a harm reduction alternative to smoking.” The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the claims “recommended by . . . pharmacies nationwide” and “a harm reduction alternative to smoking” were misleading and not supported by evidence. Although e-cigarettes are sold in a majority of pharmacies, the ad suggested that their products were endorsed or promoted by pharmacies, and the ASA had not seen evidence to support this claim. The ASA also ruled that the reference to Santa was not irresponsible because the ads were not primarily targeted at children and merely depicted Santa’s hand. The ASA ordered that the ads must not appear again in their current form and the company’s future advertising must not include the disputed claims unless substantiated with robust evidence.