The e-cigarette industry intends to run ads on television, if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not successful at stopping them.
The FDA is expected to propose a ban on the battery-powered devices, which would treat them like traditional cigarettes, which have not been able to be advertised on TV commercials since the early 1970s.
Stepping up the e-cig ads. Rather than waiting for the FDA to make them butt out, e-cigarette makers are stepping up their ad campaign to get a number of them on the air before the ban can be approved, so that their brands can get in front of consumers. E-cigarettes transform nicotine-laced liquid into vapor, and it’s an alternative to conventional cigarettes.
The ads promote e-cigarettes as a smarter alternative to using tobacco, since they don’t involve the odor, ash, or guilt associated with cigarettes.
Lots of money in e-cigarette marketing. Lorillard Inc. started running two new ads on television last month and plans to spend more on marketing in 2014 than last year, when it spent $30 million. NJOY Inc., the No. 2 player on the market, has also been airing a new TV ad for its e-cigarette, and is also budgeting more than $30 million for U.S. marketing this year. Both companies say that they will be spending the bulk of their advertising budgets on television ads.
Smaller companies, including the makers of 21st Century Smoke, Mistic and Fin, have also placed TV ads in recent months. It is part of a strategy to separate themselves from more than 200 rival brands which are trying to get their message across over different media, including radio, magazines, billboards, and the Internet.
These companies have already spent more then $15 million in TV ads in the first nine months of 2013. This figure is up significantly from the $1.1 million spent in 2012. The ads have aired on a number of cable networks, including ESPN, Spike TV and the Comedy Channel. NJOY reached out to 100 million viewers during the past Super Bowl.