E-cigarette brands spent $ 57 million on TV ads this year, 54% of which was on networks that are now rejecting them.
WarnerMedia, CBS and Viacom said Wednesday they will no longer accept advertisements for electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette products. Collectively, these three companies account for more than half of the ad spend in this category.
According to data from ad tracking company iSpot.tv, e-cigarette brands, including Juul and Vuse, spent $ 57 million on TV advertising this year. WarnerMedia, CBS and Viacom collectively account for 54% of that ad spend with $ 30.8 million through September 17. The WarnerMedia networks were the biggest recipient with $ 15.07 million in advertising dollars, with Viacom taking in $ 10.6 million. CBS, which only took the commercial from Juul, grossed $ 5.1 million.
Along with those three, media companies, including A + E Networks and Discovery, account for the remaining 47% of networks that have taken advertising dollars from e-cigarette companies. Juul, who has come under fire for marketing to minors – including a congressional investigation – has single-handedly spent $ 30.4 million since he started buying TV commercials on Jan.7. A company representative did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the network. deciding to avoid advertising on electronic cigarettes.
TheWrap has reached out to A + E and Discovery, as well as AMC Networks and Disney to comment on their own policies regarding advertising for e-cigarette products on their streaming networks and services. We will update this story with any response. NBCUniversal told TheWrap in a statement that the company “has a long-standing policy of not accepting advertising for cigarettes, e-cigarettes and all tobacco-related products.”
The suspension of e-cigarette advertising comes amid a nationwide health alert over vaping following the deaths of seven people from unidentified lung conditions suffered by people who vaped. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 380 confirmed and probable cases of those who have fallen ill with an unknown disease.
Last week, President Donald Trump announced he would ask the FDA to ban most types of flavored e-cigarettes. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar later said a preview of such a ban would be released in the coming weeks.
In a statement released Thursday, Juul said, “Juul Labs, which exists to help adult smokers quit combustible cigarettes, is monitoring the situation closely. To be clear, the ingredients in our products do not include THC, any compounds derived from cannabis, or vitamin E compounds like those found in cannabis related products. We appreciate the work of the CDC, the FDA, and other public health authorities, and are confident that they will get to the bottom of this issue. “
Juul previously said last week that he supported “the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products.”