Facebook 'cigarette lighter' ad for mobile case is banned by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a Facebook ad for a mobile phone case with an inbuilt cigarette lighter for being irresponsible.

Lightercase: Facebook ad is banned by the ASA
Lightercase: Facebook ad is banned by the ASA

The Facebook ad displayed an image of a cigarette being lit by the mobile phone case alongside text that reads, "Tag someone who can use this."

Facebook 'cigarette lighter' ad for mobile case is banned by ASAOne person complained to the ASA, questioning whether it was irresponsible for presenting smoking in an appealing manner.

Lightercase, the manufacturer of the product, argued that the ad did not present smoking in an appealing manner. In its response Facebook said the ad did not violate its advertising guidelines.

Although the ASA accepted the ad did not explicitly encourage people to start or continue smoking and there are no specific restrictions on cigarette lighter ads, it decided the combination of a lit cigarette with the suggestion to tag someone in the post presented smoking in a positive light.

The ASA found the overall impression of the ad "normalised and condoned smoking" and presented the habit in an "appealing manner".

The watchdog therefore decided the work had breached the rules on responsible advertising.