Some of the ads that get past censors in Scandinavia and Australia wouldn't even make YouTube. So when you see mass hysteria for only slightly taboo ads shown on UK TV, you realise exactly why the rest of the world see Brits as prudish.
What makes complaints about the latest VIP e-cigs advert hard to swallow is that it was shown after the watershed.
What would have happened if the full, uncut version had been shown in the break of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here", instead?:
So, UK TV audience: what are you objecting to, exactly?
By VIP's own admission on YouTube, the uncut version (above) wouldn't have made it past UK censorship. Even then, there's nothing overtly sexual in the commercial.
True, the actress is all aquiver as if she's about to have an organism when she states that she wants to put it in her mouth. But surely any innuendo inferred is in the mind of the audience?
- Is the actress stark naked? No!
- Is there a man in the clip with her? No!
- Is there any reference to any tangible object she's saying she'd like to taste (actually in the ad only, not the uncut version)? Erm, No!
It's good to see VIP sticking by its guns. Miguel Corral, one of the joint owners of the e-cigarette manufacturers, told the Bolton News:
"Due to advertising regulations we were not permitted to include the product in the ad, so we decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach to appeal to an adult audience."
What next? Herbal Essences ads gonna be pulled?
If you ask me, the Herbal Essences long-running ad campaign is guilty of exactly the same tactics. There's an actress (with a lot less clothes on than the VIP e-cigarette actress in her LBD, one hastens to add) washing her hair against the backdrop of a jungle waterfall.
Innocent enough, you say? She's been uttering the infamous "Yes, yes, yes!" as she gets herself in a lather for years. And those ads are shown at all times.
Let's hope Ofcom (I didn't know the ITC had ceased to exist - 10 years ago. Wow!) don't react with a knee-jerk ruling.
I like e-cigarettes
I have to admit, after trying patches and gum I thought "vaping" was going to be another let-down. How shocked was I when offered a blast at a party this summer?
Admittedly, they do taste better after six or seven pints of Thatcher's Gold Cider. But, rather than go outside for a ciggy as the breeze takes on a decidedly wintry edge, a vape as I key away on my word-processor is a very happy compromise between me and my good lady wife.
That's not to mention the other benefits I've found from smoking electronically:
- a lack of tar clogging my lungs, easing my chest;
- no toxic fumes flooding the house, tainting my aura and staining the ceiling;
- the cost, compared to smoking 20 normal ciggies a day.
As you'll probably guess from the comments above, my better half is very keen on me giving up smoking. After seeing my eyes light up upon trying one of my buddy's E-lites, she went out and bought me the executive pack.
E-lites aren't the cheapest, but they do tend to be the most widely available.
There are many cheaper versions available online in all sorts of styles, with or without nicotine and in more flavours than you can shake a soggy stick (or cigarette butt) at.
The problem most people have is putting faith in brands they don't know. Especially when they're going to be inhaling who knows what directly into their lungs.
What I do now, for choice, trust and price, is get mine from Amazon. The vendors there have a very good reason for providing quality products. Why? Because of the very public review system.
As of mid-December 2013, there are almost 1,000 e-cigarettes and starter kits (on Amazon.co.uk)in the Personal Health section alone. Spoilt for choice, I know.
Okay, it's not giving up. But it's a start. And I might just make a video of me partaking in an E-lite after sexual intercourse and post that on YouTube. See what the miserable sods make of that.
In fact, I could even film the graphic bit, as a prelude. Got to fill the rest of the 30 seconds with something, right???