At the Senate Committee on Commerce and Transportation hearing about “Aggressive E-Cigarette Marketing and Potential Consequences for Youth” earlier this week, a couple of ecig company presidents were blasted over and over by senators about their marketing of ecigs to minors. One of those presidents was Jason Healy, the president of Blu Ecigs. One after another they were pelted with questions about their marketing strategies. Many of the comments were off the mark but some were very accurate. The ecig companies with the money to do big time advertising, are doing just that, especially Blu who is owned by Big Tobacco.
I am not a big fan of the types of ecigs being marketed by Blu and Njoy, but they are a solution to help smokers quit and they have their place in this market. I did feel bad for the presidents of these 2 companies as they were verbally assaulted, some of which was well warranted, some not so much. When Senator Rockefeller addressed Mr. Healy and Mr. Weiss in his closing statements, he was quite blunt:
My jaw dropped when I heard this, I didn’t really expect to hear Senator Rockefeller lay into those guys like that. He went on to say that they were what is wrong with the country and went on and on.
During the needling, Mr. Healy was questioned about having Jenny McCarthy as their spokeswoman.
“You don’t see any confusion between smoking and vaping in this ad or any other ads?” Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked the president of the company that makes the products.
“Of course there is some confusion,” said Jason Healy, president of Blu eCigs. “In order to defeat tobacco and cigarettes, we have to appeal to smokers.”
Today, just 2 days after the hearing, the Jenny McCarthy ads are gone from Blu’s website according to Politico. The ads are still on their YouTube channel, but they might be gone soon too. Blu responded to Politico today and said that the hearing had nothing to do with the removal of ads. They said that her contract was up.
I don’t buy that at all. Do you?