Viral Facebook Ad for Cigarette Lighter Banned by UK Watchdog

By May Wilkerson 03/11/15

Lightercase was accused of using its ad to make smoking more appealing.

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A viral ad for a cigarette lighter has been banned from Facebook after it was deemed “irresponsible” by a U.K. advertising watchdog.

Facebook does not allow ads that promote use or sales of tobacco products, e-cigarettes or pipes, but they do condone some images of smoking, and ads for lighters. This particular ad for Lightercase, which showed a closeup of a cigarette being lit and the words, “Tag someone who can use this,” was considered within the site’s guidelines.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint that the ad made smoking look appealing and decided to take it down.

“We considered that the combination of the image of the lit cigarette and the encouragement to ‘Tag someone who can use this’ presented smoking in a positive light,” said the ASA. “The overall impression of the ad was that it normalized and condoned smoking while presenting it in an appealing manner. We concluded that the ad was therefore irresponsible.”

Before it was removed, the hugely popular ad received more than 25,000 likes and 32,000 comments and was shared more than 8,000 times.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.