You Have Just Got to be Kidding
June 20, 2022

How do they think this is legal?

This has to be some kind of joke, right?

Here at ACPB Towers we couldn’t believe it when we were shown an advert for a Botox sale. Yes an advert for a Botox sale.

No prescription.

No CE mark.

No regulation.

No oversight.

No training.

Oh – and it’s just a teenie weenie bit ILLEGAL!

Seriously!

It’s no wonder people scream that we need regulation – and they are right.

The ad calls it a “Big summer sale”. Buy 9 vials and get one for free.

So, let’s start with the ILLEGAL bit.

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 were 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.

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

As well as being ILEGAL it is utterly unethical.

Botox is a prescription only medicine and must be prescribed following a face-to-face consultation with the prescriber.

We all know this.

So who is expected to buy from this ad?
The ACPB has a strict code of conduct and is focussed on improving standards and helping our members prove to the general public that they are safe, professional and act in a lawful manner at all times.

We will continue to do so and call out bad practice as it gives a bad impression of our industry.

By Pete Richardson

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