IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

Pursuant to Rule 12.12 of the Committee of Advertising Practice, botulinum toxin injections (like Botox) are categorised as prescription only medicines and therefore cannot be advertised to the public (not even by a registered medical professional).

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published an Enforcement Notice to businesses which offer botulinum toxin injections on social media. The ASA will take targeted enforcement action after Friday 31st January against those advertising Botox. Where advertisers do not comply, they may be referred to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA or a relevant professional regulatory body.

Botulinum toxin injection providers must ensure that they do not directly or indirectly promote Botox to the public when promoting their services on social media. This includes paid-for ads, non-paid-for marketing posts and influencer marketing.

The ASA have published, amongst other requirements, the following guidelines:-

  • Remove direct references to Botox or prescription only medicines. This includes names such as “Beautytox” or “Beautox” where the obvious inference is a reference to Botox.
    • this includes references in images and hashtags like #botox
    • this covers all promotional marketing, like offering “Botox treatment” as a competition prize or in a sale package.
  • Make sure not to substitute direct references to prescribed only medicines with indirect phrases that can only refer to a prescription only medicine such as “wrinkle relaxing injections”. This is indirect promotion of a prescription only medicine, and just as much of a problem.
  • Be aware the ASA considers that a reference to “anti-wrinkle injections” alongside a price that relates to a prescribed only medicine, will be seen as an ad for that prescribed only medicine.

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The regulatory team at Ramsdens Solicitors is experienced and focused in handling a variety of regulatory cases investigated and/or prosecuted by a range of regulatory authorities.

To discuss Regulatory issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at info@ramsdens.co.uk or call us on 01484 821 500 to speak to a member of our team.