Banned Electronic Cigarette Advert
A poster for E Cigs has caused such outrage in Belfast that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered its withdrawal. The poster which was commissioned by the Nicofresh ecigarette company depicted a glamorous older female in a suggestive pose with a young, black male.
The couple are seen to be in a romantic liaison whilst the female holds an e cigarette and the strapline “No Tobacco no Taboo” appears in bold white lettering.
The caption and the image have been lambasted by the public for suggesting that interracial couples are still a taboo subject in addition to being branded ageist.
Company Deny Allegations
The company hit back and said that their poster was suggesting that cigarettes are taboo and that “it could not be denied that relationships between two people of different races or age groups had within living memory been subject to social taboo status.”
They also said that at heart the adverts’ message and meaning was “an entirely positive one”.
ASA Maintain Complaints Are Valid
The ASA however maintains that the complaints it received were reasonable because the implication that an interracial relationship is unacceptable is offensive. In addition to this, the ASA maintained that implying that a relationship between people of differing ages is taboo was also wrong and that both issues could cause serious or widespread offence.
Nicofresh were told that they must ensure their marketing communications did not contain anything likely to cause offence in the future and to take particular care that they avoided causing offence on the grounds of age or race.