We recently added our name to a petition instigated by LSE-listed company Cellular Goods regarding CBD advertising restrictions, including social media.
Here’s why we felt it was important to do so.
You may not know this but there is far more to CBD companies like ourselves. Unfortunately, as a company that also sells products, we are unable to talk about most of it.
While there need to be restrictions in place to safeguard consumer rights, we see time and again from new Provacan customers that these restrictions lead to consumers obtaining inaccurate information and are often the cause of confusion about benefits and dosing. Some customers come to us via recommendations, but others have simply been searching online for CBD information and stumble across us.
Provacan is CiiTECH’s flagship consumer CBD brand, but CiiTECH is far more than that. The blanket ban on all things cannabis and CBD means that we can’t actively promote the other good work we do. Being able to effectively utilise social media platforms for business is not only about showing products and running sales-driven campaigns. Sometimes, it’s about showcasing the other work you do as a company, and it makes it increasingly hard to grow your brand awareness and therefore limits the potential of valuable collaborations.
For example, we have a cannabis education academy with professional e-learning courses that we are struggling to promote via social and media networks, just because our company also sells CBD. The academy faced a blanket ban despite it being a CiiTECH Academy in no way related to the Provacan brand or product sales. A totally separate account was set up to ensure one had nothing to do with the other and we tried to place 7 ads. After a long and frustrating process, 4 of them have now been approved but that was after several issues including the business manager being disabled, and my credit card being blacklisted. When we added the credit card to the academy ad account it immediately got banned, simply because the credit card had been used in the past to run an ad connected to Provacan, also not concerning anything product related.
We’re involved in grassroots community projects and sponsorships that we can’t actively promote simply because we are known as a CBD cannabis company, and we automatically get banned.
Last year we launched the Art of Provacan community campaign but then temporarily put it on hold because we realised that without being able to utilize the true potential of social media, our success was limited. It was therefore not worth investing more money and resources into. To kick off the project, we commissioned Welsh artist Nathan Wayburn to create a series of artworks that expressed his feelings, some of which were created using our products because that is Nathan’s multi-media style. Eventually, it was meant to expand into a platform where other artists could upload their own work and personal stories and so much more. Nathan tried to promote the project on his own channels but just the mention of Provacan got his account blocked. That was when we put the brakes on.
We’re invested in cannabis research with our CiiTECH Labs project. Say no more, just mentioning this beside our brand will get us banned for life even though it has nothing to do with products that are on the market for sale and won’t be any time soon.
We understand the need for restrictions and regulations but there must be a middle ground. If the promotions don’t include products for sale or something that the MHRA would clearly consider a medical claim then there should be a process of approval and not immediate dismissal.
Right now, we cannot even set up an ad account under our brand name, let alone attempt to run paid campaigns or simply spend $10 boosting a post.
Small unknown companies get away with calling it hemp and finding ways around the restrictions. It happens in every industry. As a strong and established brand with global interests, we are simply not prepared to go down this route.
It is our duty to be honourable market-leading representatives and we will not risk anything to harm our company or ultimately risk having regulatory problems with our consumer brand Provacan. Our customers depend on us too much and when all is said and done, people find us anyway and buy our products. We must ensure that we can continue to service their needs.
Feel like supporting us? Help us out and sign the petition
All the best,
Clifton Flack, Founder & CEO CiiTECH Ltd.