Tobacco advertisement is one of the most highly regulated forms of marketing, for years we haven’t seen Marlboro stamped across a Formula One car or magazine pages filled with glamour’s women smoking – Why?
Cigarettes (tobacco) and cigars were glorified as glamorous, prestigious almost – just think back to a black and white film, am I right in saying smoking was regularly depicted? It was the trend, an image thing – but that image soon turned into an addiction. And so, what was once hyped up to be cool left many with a dependency on cigarettes – fashion soon turned into a life threatening, harmful addiction. E-cigarettes will follow suit. Let’s not repeat history.
Cigarette commercials haven’t been seen on TV for fourty years; being banned in 1970. New regulations and legal settlements would soon see advertisements stripped from event sponsorships and off billboards, and the law imposed that no celebrities or cartoons could promote the product. And so, the promotion of tobacco cigarettes through time has been phased out by government regulations – but with e-cigarettes, a new type of cigarette, but still very much a smoking, I mean vaping device we are slowly seeing cigarette ads creep back onto TV, into sponsorship and into the lime light.
And what e-cig companies are doing is they’re pushing the same themes as old cigarette ads: “sophistication, freedom, equality and individualism,” (News.com.au, 2013) – just check the latest TV ad by Blu Ecigs staring celebrity Jenny McCarthy below:
This type of advertiesment and marketing is what many tobacco opponents say is the problem:
“The ads, themes and messages are precisely the same (as those) used by the tobacco industry for decades that made those products so appealing to young people,” said Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “For an industry that wants to project itself as helping to solve the tobacco problem, they’re behaving just like the tobacco industry in its worst days,” News.com.au, 2013.