It is a major boost for electronic cigarettes as Facebook announced this week that it would not censor the upcoming documentary advertisement known as a "Billion Lives". The film will mainly focus on how electronic cigarettes could essentially help smokers quit the habit. In the recent publication, the World Health Organisation estimated that a billion lives will be lost in this century to smoking related conditions.
Earlier on, Facebook rejected the documentary advertisements, claiming that such adverts violated the advertising guidelines by promoting electronic cigarettes. When Aaron Biebert, the director of the film, asked Facebook to explain why the adverts were rejected, the reply was very simple: "They did not follow the advertisement guidelines. You cannot promote tobacco or tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes."
The director was not contented with the feedback and he wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, expressing his concern. He wrote that they are trying to make a film to help people discover the truth about what is going on in the world. And trying to use Facebook to make the world to stay connected, more open and give people the opportunity to share what matter most to them. In fact, we want a way to save the lives of loved ones, friends, families and ourselves.
Biebert went on, explaining that he was not promoting any tobacco product because the goal of the documentary is just the opposite. The documentary is about electronic cigarettes, which is not tobacco or tobacco-related product. In fact, the documentary is trying to help people quit.
Essentially, the latter was effectual enough to force Zuckerberg and his professional team to reconsider their position on the documentary. This week Beibert announced that Facebook reversed their decision and will allow documentary advertisements for "A billion lives" which is expected to be released in 2016.
Do you thing social media buttons like Facebook should allow adverts for electronic cigarettes simply because they are not tobacco products?