'Glamorous' e-cigarette ad banned

A "sultry and glamorous" TV ad for electronic cigarettes has been banned for indirectly promoting the use of tobacco products.

Mirage Cigarettes’ spot featured a man handing a woman an electronic cigarette. Several shots featured on-screen text that read, "choice", "flavour" and "freedom".

Five viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the ad, which was created by White Noise Productions.

In its ruling, published today, the ASA said: "The ad created a strong association with traditional tobacco smoking and presented it as the central focus in a sultry and glamorous, and therefore in a positive way, we concluded that it indirectly promoted the use of tobacco products."

Mirage Cigarettes contested the complaints, arguing the ad did not show or make any reference to tobacco products and their style of electronic cigarettes did not resemble tobacco cigarettes.

Clearcast, the body that pre-approves TV advertising in the UK, considered the ad to be acceptable because they believed the imagery and language use was restrained.

But the ASA ruled the ad breached the BCAP Code rules 33.1 and 33.3 and the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.