Elf Bar Targeted By U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer


Elf Bar, the Chinese-made line of disposable vaping merchandise, is now the goal of youth advertising and marketing accusations lodged by Sen. Chuck Schumer, the bulk chief of the United States Senate.

According to New York Daily News, Sen. Schumer stated that Elf Bar is knowingly and overtly advertising and marketing to minors in a format just like how Juul Labs did within the years earlier than Altria Group dumped the once-novel model in alternate for one more competitor.

However, Elf Bar shouldn’t be Juul or NJOY (the model Altria most lately invested in to spite Juul). Elf Bar is a disposable product model manufactured and bought by an organization tied to Shenzhen producers in China. That isn’t information. The vaping manufacturing firms in Shenzhen make up most of all closed-system vaping units, disposable or not.

Elf Bar is making the identical advertising and marketing errors as different massive vaping manufacturers earlier than it. That is the difficulty. In his trademark lengthy attract press briefings, Schumer stated that “there’s a brand new e-cigarette on the town.” “It’s hooking New York City and Long Island younger individuals with kid-friendly flavors and Gen Z colours,” he stated.

The evil ‘Chinese’ vapes? Umm…

“It is made in China, and it’s in all probability evading [Federal Drug Administration] guidelines about promoting cigarettes to youngsters, together with e-cigarettes,” Sen. Schumer informed reporters on Sunday.

Schumer introduced a case the place Elf Bar engaged with paid influencers on social media platforms. The influencers flaunt the product on the platform TikTok — one other flashpoint between U.S. officers and Chinese officers as a result of agency’s alleged ties to the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army.

The Senate majority chief and legacy Democrat elaborated that his workplace discovered over 1.6 billion views on TikTok posts bearing the #ElfBar hashtag. Further, he requested federal tobacco regulators to analyze the corporate’s adverts and advertising and marketing methods. Sen. Schumer stated, “relying on what the investigation would possibly discover, my message to the FDA and the [U.S. Department of Justice] is, take each motion as much as and together with banning Elf Bar.” Such a name for outright banning the Elf Bar product line is noteworthy as a result of it’s the identical method critics of Juul Labs have adopted. Now have a look, lets?

Just like Juul?

Though merchandise bought and marketed by Juul and Elf Bar aren’t implicitly authorized by the Center for Tobacco Products on the Food and Drug Administration, they’re obtainable for buy by means of authorized loopholes. Nevertheless, Schumer identified that they are going to have “to chase Juul out of the market of directing e-cigarette promoting and gross sales to youngsters,” which is why “we’ve got to do the identical with Elf Bar.” However, the one cause why Juul remains to be allowed to promote is that the ban is being litigated within the courts.

Schumer says that regardless of the ban, an influence vacuum was created, giving Elf Bar house to extend and switch into what he says is essentially the most intensive disposable vaping line within the U.S. market. Schumer stated that “this Chinese firm” is making an attempt to fill that vacuum.

Schumer’s criticisms didn’t cease there. He stated Elf Bar is why disposable vaping charges amongst U.S. minors have elevated lately. And, as we famous above, Sen. Schumer referred to as on the Food and Drug Administration to cease this advertising and marketing and “finally shut Elf Bar down.” All of that is worthwhile, based on the supporters of Schumer’s calls.

Marketing methods questioned

However, there’s a lot to unpack with Schumer’s newest outrage. Elf Bar, whereas a disposable vape producer, remains to be an organization that’s regulated. Common sense would remind us {that a} regulated agency will do every little thing in its energy to not deliver dangerous press or non-compliance to its doorstep. A assessment of the Elf Bar branding and advertising and marketing supplies exhibits that the “Gen Z” colours that Sen. Schumer refers to are merely colours. Yes, these colours might resonate with youthful shoppers. Still, we should contemplate among the claims and accusations made in opposition to Elf Bar alongside the allegations and expenses in opposition to Juul Labs.

Just a number of years in the past, I printed a collection of analyses for Vaping Post that examined the argument that Juul Labs engaged in an unlawful advertising and marketing scheme to push its merchandise on youth. While the corporate engaged in a social media influencer blitz that skirted and even flaunted anti-smoking promoting legal guidelines, there nonetheless was no clear indication that the product was being marketed to a category of shoppers underneath the minimal authorized gross sales age on the time.


The very cringe-worthy #Vaporized marketing campaign that Juul engaged in throughout the mid-to-late 2010s was certainly concentrating on a youthful viewers. But, a youthful viewers that was above the age of 18 years and legally allowed to buy and eat nicotine and tobacco merchandise on the time. Ever since President Donald Trump lifted the minimal authorized gross sales age from 18 to 21 years, the necessity to change advertising and marketing has been essential. Contextually, although, Juul (irrespective of how a lot I hate the corporate) didn’t straight market to minors. They risked an excessive amount of by promoting to the younger grownup market, however Juul by no means now engaged in unlawful advertising and marketing.

This is the place we’re at with Elf Bar. Like Juul Labs on the time of my earlier writings, Elf Bar has a large product vary and a line of flavors that might be interesting to minors. But, even with the so-called “Gen Z” colours, the merchandise bought by Elf Bar are nonetheless marketed to a younger grownup shopper class that’s nonetheless technically allowed to buy tobacco merchandise for private consumption. Based on the adjustments within the minimal authorized gross sales age legal guidelines through the years, this class of shoppers is now a 21-year-and-up shopper market— nonetheless younger however authorized shoppers.

I implore Sen. Schumer to contemplate these observations earlier than his subsequent press convention calling an organization out for criminal activity.