- In the latest effort from lawmakers to convince the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarette advertising, three Democrats have pulled together a campaign with old advertising for traditional cigarettes.
- The lawmakers claim that e-cigarettes are using the same tactics to attract youth that traditional cigarettes used before ads were banned in 1971 from TV and radio airwaves.
- E-cigarette brands are using sex-appeal from Jenny McCarthy, the "tough guy" persona from Stephen Dorff and sponsoring big events like NASCAR, music festival Bonnaroo, and fashion weeks—all similar tactics used for traditional cigarettes before legislation prevented it.
The similarities between the cigarette ads of yore and today's e-cigarette ads are startling because they are classic strategies. The same similarities could be drawn between the advertising campaigns of a lot of different products. The lawmakers' message will be pretty powerful if they can convince the FDA that e-cigarettes are bad for consumers' health. Until that happens, e-cigarette advertisers are smart to run crazy without ad restrictions.