PRWeb Can’t Handle E-Cigs, And So Won’t

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
December 20, 2012

Here’s an unusual electronic cigarette policy we didn’t see coming.  Editors at PRWeb, the press release distribution company, have decided that all releases mentioning electronic cigarettes — regardless of position, topic, or newsworthiness — are to be blocked from distribution.

This decision relates directly to an ongoing issue with the e-cig industry still containing a substantial number of frauds, scams, shoddy products, and Google rankings cheaters.  Press releases are sent out daily boasting awesome quality products, free trials, and all the other things you expect of companies just looking to get you into the disadvantageous position of having handed over your credit card information.  Press release distributors probably won’t be on the hook for false or misleading information in a release, but I’m sure they don’t want to chance it.

The rather unusual position of seeking a quote from a PR company did lead to what one can only call a domestic goose chase (not entirely unlike a wild one).  Two individuals at PRWeb didn’t even know such a policy existed.  One said there would be no reason for a blanket policy since they considered electronic cigarettes to be a healthier alternative to smoking.  Another wasn’t even sure the editors had the right within the organization to institute such a policy on their own.

Another two individuals in the editorial department there knew about the policy.  There were two major reasons given for it.  First, too many advertising-focused releases (those boasting sales, free trials, product quality, etc.) were being sent out simply to help companies sell their products.  These releases had no news value at all and for any industry shouldn’t be sent to reporters and media outlets as a means of cheap advertising.  Second and more importantly, it sounds like a number of legally hazy or downright fraudulent claims have gone out via press releases and the organization caught some heat for it.  PRWeb isn’t keen to let that happen again.

This is a continuing problem for the electronic cigarette industry.  Looking at the press releases and marketing efforts of companies (now excluding massive efforts by Blu and NJOY), much comes from questionable sources.  This means the first impressions of electronic cigarettes left on many people are over the top offers for free trials (or free trails in some poorly edited spam emails), claims of harmless smoking, and other tactics that look to many like obvious scams.  The reputation of e-cigs is improving despite places like PRWeb that seem to admit e-cigs are promising, but aren’t willing to take the time to distinguish between the good and the bad.

The policy only came into shape in about the last 2 weeks and word is, not a single exception or alteration to the policy is going to happen.  According to PRWeb editorial staff member Brian (who wouldn’t give his last name), it is a blanket policy and it’s going to stay that way.  The electronic cigarette world is well acquainted with its fair share negative policies born of legally fearful individuals or companies.  This isn’t that as much as it’s just outright laziness.  The company can’t be bothered to sort out real, newsworthy press releases from crap and so it won’t.

It’s a good thing they aren’t a service company.  Oh, wait.


34 Responses to “PRWeb Can’t Handle E-Cigs, And So Won’t”

      Johnathan Brown on December 20th, 2012 9:17 pm

      Sounds like business as usual. Same old thing, different place. I really get tired of companies doing this.

        Mike on December 21st, 2012 1:35 am


          Mike on December 21st, 2012 3:12 am

          Take the easy way versus doing something real. Pathetic if you ask me.

            slap_maxwell on December 21st, 2012 5:16 am

            Typical big-business attitude in America it seems…don’t do any more than you have to and if it’s too hard, screw it.

            There are plenty of hard-working small businesses in the e-cig sector that will be getting punished because of the laziness of this outfit. Luckily, there are other PR distribution companies who hopefully will see an opportunity in this and pick up the slack.

              Sylvie on December 21st, 2012 9:12 am

              seems like it is more than just laziness, someone higher up is an ecig hater!!
              well on the bright side, none of the scam/etc ecig spam/junk will no longer be going out so there will be less bad ecig publicity results cause of it…

                Mike on December 21st, 2012 1:35 pm

                and its always about money

                  robovape on December 21st, 2012 4:13 pm

                  the blanket policy is a bit much, there are a lot of big newsworthy events in the ecig community lately that they should maybe wanna’ cover, but i can understand them not wanting a “press release” used as an “ad campaign”

                    saboinia on December 21st, 2012 5:56 pm

                    the term blanket policy scares me 2 the core

                      Pearl McLaughlin (moxie) on December 22nd, 2012 1:54 am

                      You know, I can’t blame them. A lot of people were burned by the first ecig companies that came out and offered a free kit, in the physician infomercials, then charged their card hundreds every month! Plus with the FDA test results and ejuice coming out of china and problems with contamination…. It gave the industry a bad rep. Things are different now and everyone is trying to change and self regulate the industry and make it safer, but it’s hard to change their minds when there has been so much negative publicity.

                        unclerj on December 22nd, 2012 2:58 am

                        Why not make the extra effort to do the research and just disregard the garbage and keep the accurate and proven research?

                        Even better, go after the scam artist such as companies like Regal Cigs?

                        To much work and professionalism involved I guess.

                          John on December 22nd, 2012 3:07 am

                          They are gonna do what they’re gonna do.. but it is pretty lame

                            MorrinB on December 22nd, 2012 5:31 am

                            They’ve been burned by false information on various topics, while I don’t like this decision, I can’t fault them for making it. Hopefully they will reconsider in the future.

                              Steve Mitchell on December 22nd, 2012 5:55 am

                              wow pathetic

                                Todd on December 22nd, 2012 7:18 am

                                I have to go with what has already been mentioned…sounds like old old bad info stuck on the brain versus taking the time to look for current updated and educated information. Shame to see things like this.

                                  ManuDawg on December 22nd, 2012 10:18 am

                                  Well they won’t be putting out any positive press releases regarding e-cigs and that is unfortunate but at least they won’t be putting out any trash press releases that scam people into poor performing, overpriced junk e-cigs. With so many Vapers and E-Cig Forums helping to get good information out to smokers we really don’t need PRWeb, that is evident by how many new Vapers are getting enough up front info to help them skip the first couple steps of Vaping and moving straight to Egos/Twists/Provaris and Novas/Kangers.

                                    Dai on December 22nd, 2012 3:07 pm

                                    I’ve seen many ‘press releases’ coming out of the California and Colorado cannabis industries (aka medical marijuana) that deliver wild claims in association with ‘e-cigs’.

                                    The cross over between quasi-legal cannabis and its expensive personal vaporizers and the ecig industry based on inexpensive atomizers and non-resinous liquids is murky.

                                    I suggest that PRWeb’s decision is more connected with legalization of cannabis in Washington and Colorado then it is with nicotine vaporization.

                                      Amanda on December 22nd, 2012 4:03 pm


                                        robovape on December 22nd, 2012 6:35 pm

                                        some days the spammers and scammers win, but even when they don’t we still lose… so they won’t get this easy outlet to push their scam, but we won’t get a lot of important info… yeah, it’s available elsewhere, i just wish it was as easy for useful info to get an audience as it is for the garbage…

                                          Mike on December 24th, 2012 12:54 pm

                                          Well said Robo

                                            Donald Hammond on December 26th, 2012 1:46 pm

                                            More ignorance. We really need to do something about educating about ecigs. It is just too closely associated with smoking and therefore people treat it like smoking. Just sad that it could do so much good in the lives of smokers but it is getting blocked at every turn.

                                              NicXvapor on December 26th, 2012 2:00 pm

                                              This is similar to what we’ve been running into ourselves. It’s frustrating when even your host is trying to be helpful but some jerk in an office somewhere puts a stop to it because it’s fairly new in the US and they want to take your money but not allow you to sell your products.

                                              (More about this in the blog section….from me)

                                                Scott on December 27th, 2012 11:50 pm

                                                This is ridiculous.

                                                  Adam on December 28th, 2012 4:21 am

                                                  These people should be ashamed of themselves. Their agenda makes me sick.

                                                    Chad on January 2nd, 2013 6:35 am

                                                    Mitchell summed it up best…..pathetic

                                                      Amanda on January 3rd, 2013 1:14 pm


                                                        Sabrina Mitchell on January 11th, 2013 5:36 am


                                                          Lincoln pennell on January 11th, 2013 1:41 pm

                                                          Disgustingly stupid

                                                            Davanna on February 12th, 2013 8:53 pm

                                                            Thanks for the info. There does seem to be a lot of misinformation out there — as you point out — coming from both ends of the spectrum. But yes, a blanket policy is overkill.

                                                              RCO67 on May 5th, 2013 3:25 am

                                                              Censorship at it’s most blatant.

                                                                John on June 18th, 2013 1:33 pm

                                                                You spoke to a couple sources that gave this information, probably people that are not responsible for making decisions in the company. Speaking to the editors that are in charge of thousands of companies, where meeting deadlines that day are a MUST, don’t have time nor the reason to understand why a higher up has chosen to make this rule. You should know the facts before writing something rather than speak to 4 people and call it a day (talk about being lazy). You never know if this is permanent, i doubt the company even knows its permanent so for the time being its no they don’t do it. That way they work on an alternative to hopefully allow it in the months to come.

                                                                  unclerj on October 5th, 2013 2:55 pm

                                                                  It seems like things are starting to turn around.

                                                                  There is a lot of interest in E-Cigs, more than ever.

                                                                  Sure there are ignorant people against them.

                                                                  And of course, like any other type of product there are people out there just trying to make a fast buck off of inferior merchandise.

                                                                  But all in all, I am hopeful that in the end, the entire E-Cig industry is here to stay and evolve!

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