An advertisement for VIP Electronic Cigarettes was banned until after 11 p.m. in the United Kingdom, after more than 1,150 viewers complained about its overtly sexual nature.
The ad features a woman seductively asking for a e-cigarette, but it seems like she’s referring to oral sex.
“I want you to get it out,” she says. “I want to see it, feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes.”
A male actor also appears.
“Do you want to see it?” he asks. “I can get it out, if you like. You can feel it, hold it, put it in you mouth, and see how great it tastes.”
No e-cigarettes appear in the ad, and it doesn’t mention that they contain nicotine.
Those who complained to the watchdog group the Advertising Standards Authority worried that children could see it.
"We considered the sexually provocative presentation of the male and female characters in conjunction with a graphic description of oral sex was likely to cause serious and widespread offence to viewers who viewed (the television) ads during normal evening viewing,” the ASA wrote.
VIP responded to the criticism by releasing an even raunchier ad online.
"I think it's safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push the boundaries. However, we make no apologies for this," said David Levin, co-founder of VIP, according to Ad Week. "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 and communicate the superior taste of VIP products whilst making it clear they do contain nicotine."