'Sexual' e-cigarette ad restricted
A television ad for e-cigarettes has been restricted to post-9pm screenings following more than 80 complaints that it irresponsibly sexualised use of the devices.
The ad for VIP e-cigarettes featured a woman running her hand over her thigh as she said: "You know that feeling you get, when something's great? You can touch it, hold it, even see it. Well, now you can taste it."
Some 86 viewers complained about the ad, with most of them saying it was offensive because they believed it was overtly sexual and irresponsibly sexualised e-cigarette use.
Many also challenged whether the ad was suitable for broadcast before 9pm.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acknowledged that some viewers would find the ad distasteful but considered that the sexual references were unlikely to be regarded as explicit or overtly sexual, and were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
But while it noted that clearance body Clearcast had applied an "ex-kids" restriction on the ad, it was concerned that the degree of sexuality in the ad was also unsuitable for older children.
The ASA said: "We therefore concluded that, to minimise the risk of children seeing it, the ad should have been given a 9pm timing restriction."
It ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form before 9pm.