This “Industry Wake Up Call” webinar is a fantastic idea by the VTA and an extremely useful approach utilizing an effective contemporary internet-based technological tool, a webinar platform. I think an “Industry Wake Up Call” is also the most accurate title for this online event, this is absolutely necessary at this juncture and perhaps long overdue.
Obviously, this is in response to the recent warning letters sent to vape industry brands by the FDA and FTC, which these regulators labeled as “inappropriate.” These letters were detailed and thorough, even providing pictures of the eliquid packaging next to the actual food or beverage products that are imitated. Each brand had a copy of the warning letter and images to go along with it.
Overall, their argument is fairly convincing and identical to the argument that vape advocates have been pleading for years.
Countless advocacy groups have been relentlessly vocal about this issue, urging many of the brands who have been warned to rebrand their packaging, claiming the obvious damage such products could have on an entire industry.
Hopefully, by now, everyone involved with the vape industry from retailers, advocates, manufacturers, researchers, wholesalers and so on have all seen those images the FDA and FTC provided in their warning letters.
How could they have been any more clear on this topic?
How do these companies expect to continue on “as is” when they have been blatantly engaging in IP theft?
The side-by-side comparisons of the implicated and replicated brands should have been absolute proof that it is now imperative for a “Rebrand Requirement.” Perhaps that should become new hashtagged vape terminology #RebrandRequirement or #RebrandRequired.
Either way, vapers need to spread this message in a way that can get through to some of these brands refusing to pay attention to the cries of those who defend them. After all it seems like advocates have attempted nearly every single thing possible already to get this message across.
It’s that simple, just rebrand your product before you are held responsible for contributing to the destruction of a beloved culture and modern industry. Many lives depend on it. Swallow that pride, because that’s not what this is about anyhow.
The Vaping Legion told you, then the VTA warned you, next Dimitris explained it to you, Grimm Green asked you nicely to consider it, the AVA has sponsored events about this message, Fig Ramsey has offered to throw you fundraisers, thr4LIFE and Consumers For Advocacy tested your hearing, CASAA pleaded that you pay attention and now the FDA has officially sent warning letters confirming it for you.
What else could you possibly need to understand the labels and packaging are inappropriate? Just like the Vaping Legion Commander, Tristan Thompson said “It’s nothing personal.”
Hindsight is 50/50
All in all, for such a young industry selling adult products, the vape industry has done quite well with regulating itself in reference to age restriction, child proof bottles, age verifications, listing the content and ingredients, active advocacy for responsible business practices and consumer protections, etc.
Considering this, even though the industry as a whole has been somewhat impressive in such regulatory matters, there is still the issue of lingering liability from the labeling.
Sure, the labels and packaging have improved a great deal in the past three years, however, there are still way too many brands out there with no concern or shame in using child appealing designs.
So, I think this national conversation for marketing standards is an extremely significant event. This is not a required webinar, though it is indeed mandatory for Industry professionals if they want to prove they actually care about this modern emerging industry and their customers.
Not to mention, to not participate in this webinar would only reveal your unwillingness to comply with the marketing standards promoted by the VTA, the pleads of respected advocates and the demands of federal regulators.
FYI, the expression “Hindsight is 50/50” might be a clever way of saying that some people can’t see what they should have done even when the event is past and all the consequences of their decision are known.”
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