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BOTOX ADVERTISING

As you should all be aware all adverts for Botox and other botulinum toxins are now banned in the UK.


Many in the aesthetics industry have used phrases like “anti-wrinkle injections” to get around the ban on advertising prescription only medicines - but following the release of an enforcement notice by the Committee of Advertising Practice, the body which writes the advertising rules, from January 31 all ads which refer in any way to these treatments are banned.


It is important to point out that it has been illegal to advertise prescription-only medicines to the public since at least The Medicines (Advertising) Regulations of 1994. The recent Enforcement Notice doesn’t reflect that a change in rules or a new ban has been introduced, but that the Compliance team has identified widespread breaches of the existing rules and is taking measures to raise industry awareness of the rules and to give advertisers an opportunity to make their ads compliant, rather than applying sanctions as a first step.


Here is some information for you to note to make sure you are in line with what’s allowed:


YOU CAN: advertise consultations but not the treatment itself. So, a phrase like “Consultation Appointments for fine lines and wrinkle treatments are available” would be appropriate. But Where an ad refers to “Consultation Appointments for fine lines and wrinkle treatments”, this reference to “treatments” is OK as long as the treatments for lines and wrinkles include options that don’t involve prescription-only medicines.



YOU CANNOT: use any direct reference to Botox or other POMs. This includes names such as “Beautytox” or “Beautox” where the obvious inference is a reference to Botox. AVOID THE WORD BOTOX.


YOU CANNOT: use reference to Botox in pictures captions or hashtags eg you cannot say “#botox” to try and get round the rules. AVOID ANY REFERENCES TO BOTOX.


YOU CANNOT refer to Botox in promotional marketing, like offering “Botox parties” or “Botox treatment” as a competition prize or in a sale package. AVOID THE WORD BOTOX.


The Advertising Standards Authority offer a free advice service is you are unsure of an advert or promotion. You can access this here and it includes an excellent section specifically answering questions on Botox advertising: https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-and-resources/bespoke-copy-advice.html


This advice was approved via the ASA free online advice service.

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