Tightening of advertising rules on botulinum toxin injections by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) through the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been welcomed by La Belle Forme.
Botulinum toxin injections – most commonly Botox, but also Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture, and Azzalure – are prescription-only medicines (POMs).
The new rules state that botulinum injections, cannot be legally advertised on social media, including adverts, marketing posts and promotional advertising offering Botox treatments as a competition prize.
Advice from the ASA is that any direct reference to botulinum toxins (including names such as Brotox, Beautytox or Beautox) in advertising images or hashtags should be removed. In addition, the committee warns not to use alternatives such as ‘wrinkle relaxing injections’ as this will still count as promotion of a prescription-only medicine. References to ‘anti-wrinkle injections’ alongside a price will also be counted as an advert.
Clinics will also be unable to promote treatments that that suggests promotion of a prescription-only medicine, for example ‘injections for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)’.
Treatments Require A Consultation
La Belle Forme will continue to provide treatments using Botox post-consultation, the only difference being that we will not advertise this service on our website or through social media. Unlike La Belle Forme, many other clinics and beauticians do promote Botox and other POM and will probably continue to do so. It is hoped that tightening of the regulations will result in this practice being addressed through enforcement leading to prosecution.
The ASA has allowed a grace period until 31 January to allow clinics to voluntarily remove adverts that do not comply with the new rules. From 1 February, monitoring technology will be used to detect non-compliant posts and to serve enforcement notices.
The CAP writes advertising rules, which are enforced by ASA, the UK’s independent advertising regulator. You can read about the UK advertising regulatory system on the ASA website.