VIDEO: Complaints About Sexually Suggestive E-Cig Advert Shown During I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

04/12/2013 11:34 | Updated 22 May 2015
'Sexual' E-Cigarette Advert Sparks Complaints

If you were watching 'I'm A Celebrity...' with your teenage children the other night, you might have been inclined to hide behind your fingers during the 9.10pm ad break.

One of the commercials showed a woman in a black cocktail dress talking to the camera, saying, 'I want you to get it out' and 'I want you to put it in my mouth' and 'I want to see how great it tastes'.

Good grief! What on earth was she talking about? What do YOU think she was talking about? Were you surprised to discover it WASN'T a reference to oral sex – but an e-cigarette?

Were you embarrassed? Appalled? Outraged enough to complain to the advertising standards watchdog?

Well, a significant number of people were, branding the advert 'disgraceful' and unfunny while others said that it glamourised smoking because of the twist at the end where the woman makes it clear that she is actually referring to an electronic cigarette, made by the company VIP.

The commercial screened at 9.10pm on Monday during I'm a Celebrity.

One woman, Louise Edwards, Tweeted at ITV's official account that she thought the advert was inappropriate.

She wrote: "I really object to VIP advert just shown on ITV talk about the wrong messages to young people watching I'm a celeb £disgraceful."

Another, Reece Doyle, even accused the advert of promoting sex crimes.

He said: "I really do not like the VIP advert. There are obvious allusions to rape. Utterly disgraceful."

And a teenager wrote that it was 'awkward' to watch the advert next to his parents.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) confirmed they were investigating the advert for VIP Electronic Cigarettes.

A spokesman said: "The ASA has received a significant number of complaints about two TV ads for VIP electronic cigarettes.

"One ad shows a woman, and the other a man, both speaking directly to the camera.

"Complainants object that the language used in the ads is overly sexual and offensive while others object that the ad sexualises and glamorises e-cigarettes and/or smoking.

"We have now launched a formal investigation into these ads."

Makers of the e-cigarette said they had created the commercial in response to an EU ban on actually showing their product on-screen.

Miguel Corral, co-owner of VIP Electronic Cigarettes, defended the 'tongue-in-cheek' advert.

He said: "I think it's safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push boundaries.

"Due to advertising regulations we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience and communicate the superior taste of VIP products, whilst making it clear that the product does contain nicotine and that they are only available to smokers over the age of 18.

"We anticipated that the creative treatment for this campaign would cause comment and we were ready for this, but I want to make it very clear that as a leading e-cigarette manufacturer we take our responsibilities extremely seriously which is evident in our decision not to broadcast the ads before the watershed and follow the advertising rules closely."

What do you think about the ad?


Suggest a correction