FDA E-Cig TV Ad Ban Coming, Says Report

Electronic cigarette makers plan to continue marketing products until prohibited by law

WASHINGTON  -- The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which is expected to weigh in on electronic cigarettes in October, will likely propose a ban on TV advertising for e-cigarettes, according to a report from financial services group CLSA Americas, said AdAge.com.

Cigarette advertising on television was banned by the federal government in 1971.

A ban would curb an emerging source of revenue for TV networks, where spending on e-cigarette commercials climbed 17.9% to 2012 from 2011, according to Ad Age, citing a Citibank report earlier this year.

The booming e-cigarette market is currently unregulated, allowing Big Tobacco's historic return to TV after more than 40 years as well renewed print ad spending for tobacco, which has declined since the Master Settlement Agreement in 1998. The same Citibank report said print ad spending among e-cigarette marketers increased 71.9% to 2012 from 2011.

E-cigarette makers have said they plan to continue marketing their product across a range of media unless and until a ban is introduced. "In lieu of regulations, we will look at all mediums--including TV, print, radio, point of sale and direct mail--to communicate with adult smokers," David Howard, a spokesperson for Reynolds American, told Ad Age last week as the company prepared to roll out a TV campaign in Colorado for its new e-cigarette, Vuse.

R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. is launching by mid-September a 60-second commercial in Colorado to promote Vuse, which debuted in a statewide test market in July, said a BusinessWeek report.

Watch the embedded video posted on the Kansas Health Institute on Youtube.

Meanwhile, Lorillard's Blu e-cigarette, which claims nearly 40% of the market share, introduced a TV and web campaign this summer with Jenny McCarthy. That followed an earlier TV and print campaign featuring actor Stephen Dorff.

Other players in the e-cigarette industry, including NJOY and FIN, have also been running TV commercials.

Click here to view the full Ad Age report.

And click here to view the full BusinessWeek report.