A poster for 88Vape electronic-cigarettes, seen on a bus shelter on 24 June 2018.
The complainant, who noted that the ad appeared in a public space in close proximity to local schools, challenged whether the ad had been appropriately placed.
Vape Nation Ltd said that the instructions given to Clear Channel were to provide a list of locations with all restricted panels (i.e. close to schools, etc.) removed. The site at which the ad was seen, however, seemed to have been included in error. They confirmed that the site no longer had the panel displayed and that they had not intended to target or encourage underage vaping.
Clear Channel, the media owner, said that they filtered out any sites with a school within 100 metres for all the client campaigns that they displayed which showed content that was restricted for advertising to children,. They provided information indicating that the closest school was 133 metres from the hoarding and a second school was estimated at being 140 meters away. They explained that sites that were over 100 metres from a school could be added to a list of restricted panels within 24 hours of receiving concerns about a site, and that was the situation in this case. However, given the distance from the schools, they believed that the hoarding was directed at the general population and had been appropriately placed.
The CAP Code required that ads for electronic cigarettes must not be directed at people under 18 years of age through the selection of media or the context in which they appeared and that no medium should be used to advertise e-cigarettes if more than 25% of its audience was under the age of 18.
The ad seen by the complainant was displayed on a bus shelter said to be used by school children. We understood that the stop was in a residential area and was not used exclusively by school children, and the data provided showed that there was a significant distance between the ad and the closest school. We also noted that Clear Channel had taken steps to ensure the ad was not displayed near schools, and that the site had been added to a list of prohibited sites after the complaint was received, despite its distance to the school.
While we acknowledged that children using the bus shelter may have seen the ad, we considered it unlikely that people under 18 comprised more than 25% of the audience. We considered that reasonable steps had been taken to ensure that was the case.
We therefore concluded that the ad’s placement did not breach the Code.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 22.11 22.11 Marketing communications must not be directed at people under 18 through the selection of media or the context in which they appear. No medium should be used to advertise e-cigarettes if more than 25% of its audience is under 18 years of age. but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.