e-cigarettes to appear in TV ads

So here is the latest news on the Beeb about e-cigarettes and advertising.

At Little Orchard we get asked to make TV adverts for all sorts of products – and promos for nearly all sorts of services.

I was once asked on my D&AD course what ‘wouldn’t’ I advertise? Do I have any moral ground when it comes to being asked by a client to advertise something? Luckily, the ASA/Clearcast rules on what and what can’t be advertised help out a bit… guns, real tobacco, certain sexual toys etc are not something I am going to have to worry about any day soon. But the question remains, as an agency supplier, should we draw the line on what we film and produce?

We have made adverts for nicotine patches and for incontinence products as well as credit cards and loans companies – all arguably a bit close to the line.

With my business head on I would defer to the ASA rules, charge an appropriate fee and go ahead. But with my artist head on, I will always look at every product on their own merits. And consider… just how beautiful and quality can I make this product? What is its story? How can I make it work on every moral level? And of course, how can I make something that will ultimately bring sales for my client?

I think I need to put my thinking cap on for e-cigarettes…