ASA sends reality check to Relx, others posting unclear ads on social media

No posts from e-cigarette companies concerning vaping – whether advertorial or informational – should appear on Instagram, and companies are responsible for policing relevant social media content posted by affiliated influencers, even if they did not know about or approve a specific post, UK authorities have said.

Chinese e-cigarette brand Relx was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following a complaint, for having an unlicensed vaping product appear in a promotional post and for not making clear the post by Geordie Shore star Louis Shaw on Instagram was an ad. Shaw made an Instagram story on 20 December 2021 showing a hand with two boxes of e-cigarettes surrounded by text saying “@RELXUK” and “GET YOUR OWN – RELAX WITH 15% OFF – LOUISXMAS15”.


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