John McDermott of AdAge reports that Colorado will be the launching point for Vuse, an electronic cigarette created by R.J Reynolds but marketed by it’s subsidiary specially created for electronic cigarettes: R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.
Starting July 1st ( a nation wide date has yet to be announced), Colorado will have access to the products, as well as an extensive marketing campaign that has yet to be seen in the electronic cigarette world. It will feature the traditional mediums of online advertising, but will include print media, as well as direct mail and television spots. Traditional tobacco advertising has been banned since the ’70’s.
According to their research, “More than 40% of smokers have tried e-cigarettes, but approximately 80% go back to exclusively smoking traditional cigarettes.” This campaign and product hope to change that. Their tagline: Promise Landed. According to Daniel Herko, senior VP-research and development at Reynolds, “Vuse will deliver “the perfect puff every time….The poor quality, taste, and inconsistent delivery of most e-cigarettes is what has deterred smokers from making the switch.” This will accomplished by including a micro processor in every unit.
The company is making it clear that they are not targeting smokers that intend to quit, or people that do not smoke. When questioned about it, Mr. Herko stated “No, sir. … And we’re not making any health claims.”
Peter Hamm (director of national communications for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) promises that they’ll keep a close eye on things “We’re going to watch very carefully in the coming years as this product plays out in the marketplace….Whenever a major tobacco company introduces a product, we remember the industry’s long history of deceiving the public about the health risks of its products.”
It poses the question: Will a massive marketing campaign spur the FDA into taking the next step? At a minimum, it’s probably only a matter of time before electronic cigarette advertising is banned. While I disagree with that measure, it would be much better than losing electronic cigarettes altogether.
What do you think will happen? Will this cause a stir? Sound off in the comment section below!