The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), have put out a nebulous press release letting us know they're in the process of revising electronic cigarette legislation in the UK.
While we're reminded that nothing has yet been confirmed and that "the legislative picture is still developing and is complex", reading between the lines it looks like they're gearing up for a serious ban. While, of course, none of us can predict the future - it's reasonably safe to assume the advertising of this new technology - electronic cigarettes - is set to go the same way as old-fashioned tobacco ones.
So what is going to change? We can expect to see many media undergoing a ban - yet not all. Products subject to the new regulations will be prohibited from being advertised or promoted, directly or indirectly - via:
• TV or on-demand TV
• internet display advertising
• Text message
• in newspapers, magazines, periodicals – except trade publications
• sponsorship and product placement
However the following media is likely to remain legal, for now - apart from in Scotland, where regulations are stricter:
• outdoor posters and bus posters
• direct hard copy mail
The real question is how long until all e-cigarette advertising is banned without exception? If this new legislation is anything to go by, it might not take long.
Member states of the Tobacco Products Directive (i.e. all EU countries) are required to bring these laws into effect by 20 May 2016 at the latest.