The advertising rules on botulinum toxin injections are being tightened up from today and will be enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority. There will be a short grace period until 31 January 2020 to allow advertisers to voluntarily remove non-compliant ads. From 1 February 2020, the enforcement authorities will be using monitoring technology to detect non-compliant posts and to serve enforcement notices.
Botulinum injections are often known by their brand names – Botox, Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture and Azzalure. They are all prescription-only medicines which cannot legally be advertised to the public. This applies even if the prescription-only medicine is administered by a registered medical professional.
Advertising includes social media, including paid-for or not paid-for marketing posts on your own or someone else’s pages and influencer marketing. Promotional advertising such as offering ‘Botox parties’ or Botox treatments as a competition prize are also banned.
The ban on advertising does not apply to dermal fillers as these are not prescription-only medicines.
The Committee of Advertising Practice advice is:
“We welcome the crackdown on advertising, especially on social media which can unduly influence young people or vulnerable adults to have treatments that may not be needed. For this reason, we would also support a ban on injectables being provided for under 18s.” says Caroline Larissey, NHBF Director of Quality & Standards.