As flavored vaping products continue to become a national pariah—with headlines about health-related incidents impacting youth and outright bans mounting on the state level—three media behemoths have decided to drop all e-cigarette advertising.
The media reported the controversy continues to swirl around the legality of vaping products, creating a cloudy landscape when considering taking on ads. “The issues with these products never seem to go away, and in recent days, they have become even more pronounced,” communications attorney David Oxenford wrote on the Broadcast Law Blog.
In fact, a state ban on flavored vaping products was recently instituted in Michigan followed by an announcement that a new Federal ban on the products might go into effect over the next few months.
Now comes word that CBS, WarnerMedia and Viacom are pulling e-cigarette advertising off their platforms, “as the death toll from a mysterious vaping-related illness continues to climb and health regulators across the world pull flavored vaping products off their shelves,” CNBC reported last week.
The decision comes after CNN also said it would no longer allow vaping products to advertise on its network. CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia is also dropping e-cigarette advertising from its other networks, including cable channels TNT and TBS, which have both run ads for vaping company Juul in recent weeks. Viacom has also joined the movement. It has advertised for Juul in the past two weeks on BET, CMT, TV Land and Paramount Network.
According to ad measurement company iSpot, more than 20 networks have run Juul ads in the past two weeks, costing more than $2.2 million for more than 900 airings. It is also a major radio advertiser: Juul was No. 6 among the top national AM/FM advertisers in February 2019. Blue eCigs is also a top 75 advertiser, according to data from Media Monitors, which tracks radio advertising in 85 markets.