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British American Tobacco ad sparks discussion on ad restrictions

British American Tobacco’s latest music video-like YouTube commercial has prompted Korean health authorities to discuss new legislature to restrict advertisements of e-cigarette devices.

The ad “Glo Sens X Loopy&nafla” features popular musicians and has amassed close to 105,000 views as of Friday 11:30 a.m., 11 days after its release.

Korean health authorities strictly restrict direct advertisements of tobacco products. However, Glo Sens is not classified as tobacco but as an electronic device used to heat e-cigarette products.

Korean law stipulates that tobacco companies can only display poster-type advertisements inside retail shops such as convenience stores, and run advertisements in magazines less than 10 times per tobacco brand each year. Advertising on planes and passenger ships is also allowed for international routes.

Tobacco companies can sponsor social, cultural, musical and sports events but they are not allowed to advertise tobacco products at these events.

Health authorities said there is no rule that bans BAT Korea’s music video-type YouTube commercial. But they will consider revising the law to include e-cigarette devices on the list of restricted advertising products. 

(YouTube capture)
(YouTube capture)

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
Korea Herald Youtube