Rizla advertisement banned for a graffiti sign that could mislead people on safety of smoking


Bristol’s rolling paper company, Rizla, has been called to attention after several advertisements posted on billboards and in social media featured the words “safe” and “protect” on their advertisement materials. 

Two billboard advertisements located in Bristol and Liverpool have been brought down by Advertising Standards Authority as the message of the advertisement may be misinterpreted by the public. The graffiti itself was a tribute to the Bristol street artist Banksy who had been doing amazing graffiti in the city. 

However, advertisement watchdogs could not help but notice the correlation of the words to the promotion of cigarette smoking. Amidst the idea that it does not actually relay the message of smoking as safe, people who have seen the advertisement have connected the message as somewhat provocative about smoking. Nonetheless, the company has pointed out that there has been an ongoing circulation of information pamphlets and leaflets, posters, and commercial ads indicating the hobby of smoking as dangerous to one’s health. They couldn’t just believe that their billboard would carry the same message even when they have pointed out that it is all about the new packaging of the rolling paper. 

Rizla had been producing rolling paper products primarily used in wrapping tobaccos to become cigarettes. This had been the reason why people easily mistook the advertisement as a promotion to indulge in cigarette smoking. However, in defense to the complaint, the whole picture of the billboard also created a notion that underage smoking is also safe and OK because of the graffiti symbols, and that the company and its support, Imperial Tobacco, had been marketing cigarettes to young adults and expressive individuals. 

As of the moment, ASA had placed a ban on Rizla’s new advertisement material’s placement anywhere in the county. 


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