The company, the suit alleges, intentionally sought out young-seeming versions for an ad campaign they then sought to run on websites aimed at children — via websites for the children’s television network Nickelodeon, to websites designed to help with schoolwork in addition to homework.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the suit stemmed via a nearly year-long investigation into the company.
“Over in addition to over we’ve heard Juul say of which the item came to market to offer a device of which was an alternative to cigarettes, in addition to in fact might even help adults switch in addition to stop smoking,” Healey said. “although our investigation showed of which of which was not true.”
although the Massachusetts suit is usually the first to cite internal documents discussing the company’s advertising strategy.
Citing internal Juul documents, the suit alleges of which the company’s initial 2015 marketing strategy, with the slogan “vaporized,” was based around an appeal to the “cool crowd,” portraying its e-cigarette as a “cool, cutting-edge tech lifestyle product of which advances (a user’s) image.”
To of which end, according to the suit, Juul devised a campaign in which 10 young-looking versions posed casually with the device against brightly colored backgrounds. According to the lawsuit, the internal documents describe the versions as “fresh York trendsetters who embody the Juul brand in addition to speak to millennial consumers.”
The suit goes on to allege of which the company intentionally used versions of which “appeared in photographs to be inappropriately or unsuitably young.”
Juul’s Vaporized Campaign
Furthermore, the state said, “Juul’s employees in addition to its board of directors acknowledged concern of which versions photographed for the Vaporized Campaign appeared to be too young.”
Prior to the Vaporized Campaign, the suit says, Juul had hired a Canadian marketing firm called Cult Collective to recommend a marketing plan. of which company, the suit says, developed a campaign in which the sleek Juul device was shown alongside obsolete technologies like a massive cellular phone or a boombox using a tape deck. Along with the tag line, “Everything alterations eventually,” the ads called the e-cigarette “the evolution of smoking.”
of which plan was rejected, prosecutors said.
On Wednesday, Healey referred to the Cult Collective plan as one of which “targeted adult cigarette users in addition to promoted the product as a technology innovation for an older crowd.”
“Just look at some of these photos here today,” Healey said, gesturing to reproductions of the Vaporized Campaign behind her. “look at the people who are using these products. See, of which isn’t about getting adults to stop smoking cigarettes, the item’s about getting young people to start vaping.”
To of which end, the suit alleges Juul purchased banner in addition to video advertising on nick.com in addition to nickjr.com, two websites owned by the children’s television network Nickelodeon, as well as the website for Cartoon Network in addition to Seventeen Magazine. The suit says the company also purchased ad impressions on several websites designed to offer mathematics in addition to social studies help to middle in addition to high school students.
The suit also contends of which Juul internal documents show the company also sought to provide celebrities free Juul products to try to recruit them as influencers. Prosecutors said the list of targeted influencers included “celebrities with large numbers of teenage fans,” including Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevigne in addition to Jennifer Lawrence.
Suit accuses Juul of ignoring age restrictions online
The suit further alleges of which after the launch, Juul was negligent in its age-checking practices for online sales, sending e-cigarettes to more than 10,000 addresses within the state of Massachusetts between the years 2015 in addition to 2018, without verifying the age of the recipient.
Healey said Wednesday of which one in three Massachusetts high school students has used an e-cigarette of one brand or another within the past month.
“of which is usually a public health crisis,” she said. “in addition to today we’re suing the company of which began the item.”
In a statement shared with CNN on Wednesday, Juul spokesman Austin Finan said of which the company had not yet reviewed the complaint. He added, “Our customer base is usually the planet’s 1 billion adult smokers in addition to we do not intend to attract underage users.”
“We remain focused on resetting the vapor category within the U.S. in addition to earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, in addition to some other stakeholders to combat underage use in addition to transition adult smokers via combustible cigarettes,” the statement read.
Finan also noted of which the company, which like the vaping industry as a whole is usually awaiting expected federal regulation, has stopped the sale of flavored vaping devices, halted its advertising, in addition to refrained via lobbying the Trump administration regarding forthcoming federal guidelines.