In addition to recommending guidelines on Marketing Standards in the vape industry, there were 2 other major objectives to the agenda outlined by the VTA in their recent webinar. This consists of a Call To Action and the announcement of the VTA Marketing Hotline.
VTA Issues a Call to Action
The Call To Action was to call on all of its members to formally adopt the VTA Marketing Standards highlighted in their webinar.
From this, they expressed specifically how crucial it was that the VTA was calling on all of its affiliated state vapor trade associations to do the same (i.e. OHIO Vapor Trade Association, Nevada Vaping Association, Colorado Smoke Free Association and many other states like Alabama, Montana, etc.).
Executive Director Tony Abboud and Treasurer Chris Howard of the VTA made it clear at the end of their webinar that “continued membership in the trade association will be evaluated in part based upon the member’s commitment to marketing standards.”
Tony Abboud (left), Chris Howard (right).
This is a vital area of the webinar to reflect on for countless reasons.
The first one being that if you are a VTA member, following the outlined protocol for their preferred marketing standards seems as if it is becoming a mandatory requirement to maintain acceptable status among the group.
This could seem like a fairly aggressive stance to take-on as it could be seen as controlling the behavior and decisions of their state and trade group affiliates.
However, this is not the time to sugarcoat anything — being straightforward and demanding action are what must be resorted to in these times, where if nothing is done, the industry could suffer irreparable damage
The VTA Board is using this call to action to express their expectations of all companies modifying their product offerings and/or marketing campaigns by August 10th, 2018.
This is another extremely significant portion of the webinar to mull over, since this is when vape manufacturers’ packaging will need to be updated for the purposes of following FDA compliance.
Even though these guidelines for marketing standards are primarily aimed at the members of the VTA, this should and will likely become the industry standards for non-members or perhaps it may become a requirement for all businesses to join the VTA.
VTA Marketing Hotline
The VTA also took this time in the spotlight to announce the opening of its Marketing Hotline.
With the addition of this Marketing Hotline, companies may seek free guidance and feedback on marketing changes.
This is extremely encouraging to know there will be somewhere to turn for businesses in the vape industry, if and when changes are made for marketing standards.
Even though the VTA guidelines fall in line with much of the FDA regulations, still, we must understand there is no escaping the deeming rule. All we can do is hope for negotiating a more sensible policy approach towards regulating vapor.
The VTA is owed so much credit for many of the changes made to the initial deeming rule. The VTA marketing standards, their call to action, and the VTA Marketing hotline serve as tools for the vaping industry.
It also provides the chance for representatives of the vape industry to regain a step forward, a chance to allow an advocacy and trade group of the vape community to influence the rules and to prove how vapers can be responsible business owners.
There are many different ways to look at this scenario.
You can choose to entirely dismiss anything being suggested for compliance or you could choose to ultimately support it.
Just Imagine if a tobacco control group was determining the standards.
Therefore, by supporting the VTA defining and controlling marketing standards, then you will be supporting progress being made in a steady pace. Perhaps allowing even further progress to be made in the future.
With the announcement and launch of the VTA marketing hotline, companies can report concerns about marketing that they would like the VTA to address.
Learning of circumstances involving direct violations of what will likely become the collectively agreed upon standards for marketing and responsibility will provide even stronger compliance.
Thus, ensuring the sustainability of the cultural and technological breakthroughs created by the vape industry leaders. Remember, most vapers are former smokers, so we must insist upon industry survival, continuing to allow millions the same chances vapers had to quit smoking cigarettes.
The VTA shares that any Inquiries should be directed to: ResponsibleMarketing@vaportechnology.org