Why does e-cigarette maker Juul advertise its product on TV when cigarette ads are banned? The short answer: Because it can.
For nearly 50 years, cigarette advertising has been banned from TV and radio. But electronic cigarettes — those battery-operated devices that often resemble oversized USB flash drives with flavored nicotine “pods” that clip in on the end — aren’t addressed in the law.
Since launching its product in 2015, Juul Labs, based in San Francisco, have come to dominate the e-cigarette market, now accounting for 75 percent of e-cig sales at convenience stores and mass retail outlets, according to Bonnie Herzog, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Until recently, TV ads haven’t played a role in Juul’s marketing, which relied primarily on social media.