The vape advertising ban in now in full swing. From Facebook to Google, vaping ads are no longer welcome. So what gives?
If you’re a business in the vaping space, you will know that it is next to impossible to grow your brand using traditional forms of marketing – PPC, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. I say, next to impossible, because while it is definitely challenging, it is not impossible.
It is VERY hard, though. Perhaps one of the toughest businesses to be in right now. I mean, think about it: if you were making and selling drones, you could access millions of potential users via Facebook Ads and Google Ads. Millions.
It’d cost you money, but you’d be making money – it’d be an investment.
If you’re making a new, innovative RDA tank, however, this just is not possible. You cannot use Facebook as an advertising tool, nor can you leverage the power of PPC or promoted posts in any of the major social networks.
And this is terrible for innovation and development inside the vaping arena. But the most obvious problem here is how the products in this niche have been “defined”.
A mod, for instance, is a mechanical piece of technology. It is inorganic by its very nature and is, therefore, unlike tobacco whatever way you look at it. Ditto tanks, coils, and accessories in general.
I get that E Juice needs to be regulated; it contains nicotine, in some cases, so there is a clear case for that. Nicotine is addictive and for this reason I have no issues with restrictions on this aspect of the industry – it makes sense, logically and ethically.
But this is the only element of the current ban on vape advertising that does make sense. Nothing else about the FDA and EU’s rulings on vaping make any sense whatsoever, though.
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The 900 pound elephant in the room…
Vaping products are classified as tobacco products, which is insane when you think about it, because they don’t have any ACTUAL tobacco anywhere near them.
This is what I really cannot get my head around. It’d be like taxing a Tesla the same as a 6-litre diesel BMW, just because it’s a car and it has doors and a steering wheel. It just makes no sense. Not if you take into account the context of the product in consideration.
And it is here where the BIGGEST issues reside for aspiring vape brands and manufacturers. Because without traditional forms of advertising, it is nigh-on impossible to reach your true potential. This is why Apple, Samsung, Heinz, and Audi ALL spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ads and marketing every year.
Not because they WANT TO but because they HAVE TO.
Can We Just Call An Orange An Orange, Please?
Vape products by their very definition are NOT tobacco products; they’re the most ant-tobacco products around, products that were originally conceived to do one thing and one thing only: KILL CIGARETTES.
So calling vape products tobacco products and taxing them like tobacco products and positioning them as tobacco products is like calling an Orange and Apple just because it’s a fruit – it’s nonsensical.
Nicotine is NOT the enemy; it never has been. It’s the delivery method that’s at fault – smoking. Get rid of this completely, which vaping is slowly doing, with ZERO help from anyone at the level of government, and the positive upshot will be enormous. Imagine a world with 90% less smokers? That’s the future and its close – and we have vaping to thank for that.
And Then There’s Booze…
If there’s one thing I cannot stand whenever I get into a debate about advertising and vaping, it’s the free pass alcohol gets. Now, to be clear, I drink and enjoy drinking. As an adult, it is my choice to imbibe alcohol and I know the risks.
The point I am making here is that alcohol by its very definition creates more problems than it solves – even with moderate drinking. Their is no upshot to booze, aside from having a blast with your buddies. Weed is better for you, providing its not smoked, and has a raft of health benefits. And yet, weed is illegal in most places, despite its medicinal applications, and booze makers get to create lifestyle-oriented marketing campaigns about their products, which basically just get you drunk.
Do you see the problem here? Vaping and weed, while not perfect or something you’d actively encourage in those that don’t already use it or need it, ACTUALLY solve problems and have real-life applications with respect to harm reduction.
Alcohol just damages your liver and gives you a hangover. But it gets a free pass when it comes to advertising and marketing?
I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how this works? I mean, whichever way you slice it, the logic falls apart.
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What’s required is someone like Google or Facebook to take a positive stance on vaping. To see it for what it is, not what it’s been defined as. If Mark Zuckerberg decided to view vaping products as a means of killing cigarettes once and for all, can you imagine the difference it’d make?
Smoking rates would drop over night. Like a freakin’ stone. Vape brands could grow their businesses and focus on making safer and better products. Everybody would benefit. And if you don’t smoke or vape, none of this would even matter to you. 90% of adverts these days are ALL targeted to your interests and wants, so if you’re not interested in vaping, you wouldn’t see ads about it. Simple.
We’re All Consenting Adults, After All…
But the main thing is this: if you’re over the age of 18, you’re an adult and you’re free to do what you want, within the confines of the law.
If you want to drink, you can. If you want to smoke you can. If you work you pay tax. If you want to vape you can. It is up to you. For this reason, and everything highlighted above, as well as the nonsense pumped out by alcohol brands for marketing purposes, there is literally no reason why vaping products should be banned from traditional advertising platforms.
It solves a problem. It reduces harm. It helps end decades-long addictions to smoking. It’s 95% safer than smoking. It’s cheaper. It’s less damaging to the environment. Basically, it is the future. I know this, you know this, and pretty soon Google, the Feds, Facebook and everybody will have to wake up to this fact too.
In the meantime, in case you haven’t noticed, you’re reading this on a platform all about vaping. If you’re a business or a brand that’s looking to reach potential vapers and you have a decent product, get in touch with me and we might be able to help you out.
I set-up VapeBeat to champion vaping, the best new innovations in the field of vaping, and to highlight the best brands and retailers in the space.
If you’ve got a story to tell, I’d love to hear to from you.