E-Cigarette Maker Launches Bizarre, Raunchy Teasers in Response to Ad Ban

'No apologies' for new tactic

Headshot of Tim Nudd

VIP, an e-cigarette maker in Britain, has reacted to what it felt was a dumb ban against its ads by doing the mature thing—producing a smutty campaign full of sexual innuendo that's blatantly more controversial than the previous one but which apparently falls within the letter of the law.

The Ad Standards Authority previously reprimanded VIP and other e-cigarette makers for running ads that weren't clear they were for e-cigarettes, and didn't mention that the products contain nicotine. Both of those facts are clear enough in the 20-second teaser below—after you hear the woman telling you to "get it out" and "put it in my mouth." There's a version with a man, too. The short TV spots don't show the product—they're not allowed to—but the 60-second online versions do.

"I think it's safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push the boundaries. However, we make no apologies for this," says David Levin, co-founder of VIP. "Due to advertising regulations, we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience and communicate the superior taste of VIP products whilst making it clear they do contain nicotine."

Hat tip: Unruly Media.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.