If you were in Colorado last night, you would have had the opportunity to see the country’s first official marijuana TV ad. Or so you thought. Unfortunately, the first-ever recreational marijuana ad that was set to air on U.S. television got pulled over what are being called “legal concerns”.
According to an article in CNN Money, the ad was for Neos, a company that sells cannabis oil and vaporizers. It was set to be shown on an ABC affiliate in Denver, a city within a state that has legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
The ad features young people in clubs and hiking up mountains while a narrator says, “You lead an adventurous life, always finding new ways to relax. Now enjoy the best effects and control with Neos portable vape pen and recreate discreetly this summer.” It ends with scenes of campers and the tag line, “A bold new way to unwind. Neos, recreate responsibly.” The ad makes no mention of marijuana and there are no images of cannabis or anyone using it. But the federal government regulates the airwaves and the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.
A spokeswoman for the company that owns the Denver TV station said, “Scripps has decided not to accept marijuana advertising at this time. We are proud to be a company of free speech and open expression, but we have concerns about the lack of clarity around federal regulations that govern broadcast involving such ads.”
Olivia Mannix is the co-founder of Cannabrand, the ad agency that produced the Neos spot. In an email to CNN Money, she responded by stating, “Channel 7 has officially put all cannabis commercials on hold until further notice, as ABC corporate investigates the legality of airing a ‘federally illegal’ substance on federal airwaves.” Mannix went on to explain that Colorado law allows for the airing of marijuana TV ads when 70% of the audiences is 21 or older. The ad was set to air late last night during “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where 97% of the audience is at least 21.