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UK ad watchdog bans BAT from Instagram to e-cigarette promotion

(Reuters) – British American Tobacco (BAT) is to stop advertising of e-cigarettes to be a public account on Instagram, including a number of analytic accounts, of the UK’s advertising watchdog ruled Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A man vapes, outside Southwark Crown Court in London, united Kingdom, on the 25th of September 2017. (REUTERS photo/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also directed the company to remove all of the ads in relation to the Vype on Instagram.

The ruling stems from an investigation of seven Instagram posts by Vype is to assess the health of groups have raised complaints in March that they were likely to appeal to those under the age of 18 years of age.

The complaint by Action on Smoking and Health, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the cessation of Tobacco Organizations, and the Products are also said to have had the company used the models, which was less than 25, it’s against the law in the united kingdom.

The ads must not appear again in the form of complaints the ASA said in a statement, upholding complaints that the company had violated the ad laws and the use of under-25 models only on these messages.

However, the agency does not uphold the complaint that the BAT had been deliberately targeted someone else’s children, through her Instagram posts.

Even though the BRITISH law’s prohibition on online advertising of e-cigarettes, and manufacturers must provide the actual product details such as its name, its content, and the price of the product on their own web sites, according to the EU’s Tobacco products Directive.

The ASA’s ruling, however, said that social media accounts are not the same thing as a web site, and so the BAT could not make use of the platforms for the distribution of the de facto or record the content of the e-cigarette.

“The ASA decision is an important step forward in the treatment of the tobacco companies, are using social media to advertise to young people in the uk and around the world,” said Mark Hurley, managing director of international communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“This has been a mild negative for the BAT, in the united kingdom’s stream of revenue from the vape products in the united kingdom, and it is of no consequence to the bottom line,” Liberum analyst: Nico von Stackelberg, said in a note.

Tobacco companies have to pour millions of dollars into its e-cigarette companies as well as the sales of traditional cigarettes decline. But a new wave of vaping-related deaths and illnesses, and a high-teen addiction to the products, which have raised concerns about the safety of these devices.

BAT, maker of Dunhill cigarettes reported vaping product sales revenue of 189 million pounds for the first six months of this year, an increase of 118 million pounds in the same period a year ago.

“We have to live by the ASA’s decision and makes a recommendation to the relevant posts, and a change of our Instagram accounts,” said Simon, very Handsome, BAT’s group head of corporate affairs.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Keeping up with the ipad; Editing by Maju Samuel

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