London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

TikTok vaping adverts for Elf Bar and HQD Tech - one featuring Gogglebox star - banned by UK watchdog

TikTok vaping adverts for Elf Bar and HQD Tech - one featuring Gogglebox star - banned by UK watchdog

After a judgement by the Advertising Standards Authority, TikTok said the adverts violated its own policies and guidelines, and breached its terms of service, which prevents the advertising of cigarettes and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Adverts by influencers promoting vaping products on TikTok have been banned by a UK watchdog, after they were found to have broken advertising rules.

Two posts have been pulled, relating to products made by Elf Bar and HQD Tech.

One video, from the user @Panaxhe_ shows a young man choosing a blueberry-flavoured Elf Bar for breakfast, a brightly coloured device, before returning later for lunch, grabbing a passion fruit-flavoured vape.

Another, from former Gogglebox contributor George Baggs, who was 19 years old when he posted the advert, shows him holding up an HDQ device called Wave, still in its packaging, with a caption: "Matching my outfit with my new HQD v@pe".

The @ symbol is often used instead of the letter A on TikTok in an attempt to get around the censorship of certain words that are banned, which results in videos being removed.

As the video went on, Mr Baggs got dressed while smoking the vape, with text saying: "Always get asked to do these sorta [sic] vids so here ya go ?? #HQDVIP #uk #trending."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) looked into whether the posts broke rules around promoting unlicensed, nicotine-containing, devices on TikTok.

There are tight regulations targeted at the promotion of vaping products in the UK, that are designed to prevent the marketing of them to young people.

Promotions for the devices on TikTok, where users must be older than 13 years old, appear to flout the rules.

Green Fun Alliance, which was trading as Elf Bar, said it had asked the creator to take down their content, adding it would improve its monitoring online, to ensure it complied with the rules.

As a result of the ASA complaint, it stopped promotion on TikTok in the UK.

Screengrab from the banned Elf Bar TikTok video

HDQ Tech said it did not think Mr Baggs was encouraging viewers to try its product, but it had removed the content from the influencer until the conclusion of the ASA investigation.

Off Limits Entertainment, on behalf of Mr Baggs, said it had spoken to HQD Tech and would make sure he did not promote any more vaping products in the future.

TikTok said the advert about the Elf Bar product violated its own policies and guidelines, while the HQD post breached its terms of service, which prevents the advertising of cigarettes and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

It also said both posts had appeared in the "For You" page, which is an algorithm-led part of the app where posts can appear without the need for following a user.

On the HQD Tech ad, the ASA ruled: "Notwithstanding that we did not consider the ad was permitted on TikTok - anyone shown using e-cigarettes or playing a significant role must neither be, nor seem to be, under 25.

"George Baggs, a public figure, known from the television programme Gogglebox, was shown smoking an e-cigarette in the video, and we understood that he was aged 19 at the time the ad was posted. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code."

The ASA also ruled that the Elf Bar ad must not appear again, adding: "We told Green Fun Alliance that marketing communications with the direct or indirect effect of promoting nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and their components which were not licensed as medicines should not be made from a public TikTok account."


Related Articles

London Daily
Nicki Minaj's Manchester Concert Canceled After Amsterdam Arrest
UK Conservative Party Proposes Mandatory National Service at 18
Kate Middleton's Public Absence Throughout 2024
Asylum Seekers Arriving In UK by Sea Exceed 10,000 This Year
UK Criticizes ICJ Order on Israel's Rafah Assault
Ukraine's Fight Against Corruption Gains Ground Amid War
Czech President Petr Pavel Injured in Motorcycle Accident
Record Number of Abortions in England and Wales
Paul McCartney Honours Bruce Springsteen at Ivor Novello Awards
US and UK to Reject ICJ Ruling on Israel's Rafah Offensive
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS