Regulation of e-cigarette advertising, sponsorship and product placement
The statements below set out the rules around advertising and sponsorship of e-cigarettes on TV and radio, as well as product placement of e-cigarettes in television and on-demand programmes.
This statement sets out amendments Ofcom is making to the Broadcasting Code and amendments that we have instructed the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (“BCAP”) to make to the BCAP Code: the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising.
The changes arise from the UK Government’s implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive 2014 (“TPD”).
Among other provisions, the TPD prohibits advertisements for electronic cigarettes and refill containers in broadcast television and radio services. It also prohibits programme sponsorship which has the aim or effect of promoting such products.
In order to implement these provisions of the TPD, the Secretary of State for Health has directed Ofcom under section 321(6) of the Communications Act 2003 to make specified changes to rules in the relevant codes. Ofcom will enforce the rules in the Broadcasting Code, and the Advertising Standards Authority will enforce the rules in the BCAP Code.
The changes to the rules set out in this statement will come into effect on 20 May 2016.
The amendments set out in this statement reflect changes made to the Communications Act 2003 by the Government. Among other provisions, the Government has introduced prohibitions on the product placement of electronic cigarettes and refill containers on broadcast television and in on-demand programme services. The Government has also introduced prohibitions on the sponsorship of on-demand programme services and of programmes included in on-demand programme services for the purpose of promoting electronic cigarettes or refill containers.
The changes to the rules set out in this statement come into effect on 20 May 2016.