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    Ad regulator cracks down on affiliate programmes for vaping products

    Photo: iStock

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has on Wednesday ruled against three vaping companies for breaching advertising regulations through their online affiliate promotion schemes.

    The regulator told vape retailer JAC Vapour and vaping brands Juicemate and Apollo Vapes that the ads must not appear in its investigated form again, after concluding that JAC Vapour’s JAC Ambassador programme, and Juicemate and Apollo Vapes’s affiliate programmes, breached the advertising code by promoting unlicensed nicotine-containing e-liquids and their components in online media.

    The rulings were part of a broader investigation by the ASA into the promotion of vapes through affiliate schemes.

    JAC Vapour, responded that the JAC Ambassador programme aimed to share success stories responsibly, in line with public health goals. Following the ASA’s contact, the company made changes to the ad to better align with these intentions.

    Juicemate told ASA that they were not aware that there was an issue with an affiliate programme as they had seen them on other vaping websites. The brand had removed the affiliate webpage on receiving notification of the ASA investigation.

    Apollo Vapes has also removed the affiliate page from their website. However, they told ASA that their UK affiliate programme worked with product review websites, which were for adult vape users. The brand contended that they did not believe they breached UK regulations by allowing those sites to review their products, but added that would stop working with them if that was the case.

    While the ads did not directly promote specific vape products, the ASA determined that it indirectly encouraged the sale of such products.

    The regulator also told the companies to ensure future marketing communications do not promote nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, directly or indirectly, and to avoid inciting unlawful actions.

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