A leaflet for Xtreme e-liquids, seen on 20 January 2017 stated “XTREME [sic] E-LIQUIDS The healthier & tastier alternative to smoking”.
The complainant challenged whether the claim “The healthier … alternative to smoking” breached the Code.
Xtreme Eliquids Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Xtreme Eliquids’ lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered that consumers would understand the claim “The healthier … alternative to smoking” to mean that Xtreme Eliquids’ products were beneficial to a consumer’s health compared with cigarettes. The CAP Code stated that “Marketing communications must not contain health or medicinal claims unless the product is authorised for those purposes by the MHRA” and we considered that the claim was a health claim. We noted that Xtreme Eliquids had not provided evidence that their product was authorised to make health claims by the MHRA. For that reason we concluded the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 22.5 22.5 Marketing communications must not contain health or medicinal claims unless the product is authorised for those purposes by the MHRA. E-cigarettes may be presented as an alternative to tobacco but marketers must do nothing to undermine the message that quitting tobacco use is the best option for health. (Electronic cigarettes).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Xtreme Eliquids Ltd not to make health claims for their products in the absence of the appropriate authorisation.