E-cigarette poster ad banned on race and age grounds

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a poster by the e-cigarette company Nicofresh after complaints that it was offensive on the grounds of race and age.

Nicofresh: ASA bans ad over race and age issues
Nicofresh: ASA bans ad over race and age issues

The billboard poster, which appeared in various locations in Belfast and was created by Bloom, featured an elderly white woman sitting on a sofa alongside a young black man. The man had his arms around the woman, while she held an electronic cigarette. Text alongside the image stated: "No tobacco. No taboo."

Six complainants challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of race, because it implied that an interracial relationship was socially unacceptable.

Four of the complainants also challenged whether the ad was offensive on the grounds of age, because it implied that a relationship between an elderly woman and a younger man was socially unacceptable.

The ASA found that consumers viewing the ad would believe it was presenting a relationship between an older and younger individual, particularly an older woman and a younger man, and a couple of different races, as something that was unusual or socially unacceptable.

Therefore, the ASA upheld the complaints, ruling that it "was likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of race and age".

The ad cannot appear again in its current form and the ASA has warned Nicofresh to make sure its ads are not likely to cause serious and widespread offence, and to be particularly careful around the issues of race and age.

First published on Campaignlive.co.uk

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 PHD and ITV storm Media Week Awards

PHD reigned supreme at the 2016 Media Week Awards, after winning media agency of the year and the coveted Grand Prix for its work for Sainsbury's Christmas campaign, while ITV won sales team of the year.

Just published