Botox ads frozen by the ASA

Botox ads frozen by the ASA

Reed Smith LLP
Daryl Cue20131216132050
United Kingdom
January 21 2014

Following a complaint from the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service, the ASA has banned botox ads by Dermaskin and HB Health of Knightsbridge. The websites of each advertiser promoted the use of botox, stating it has the ability to make users appear younger and it leads to “astonishing results”. The ASA has ruled that such language is inappropriate and explained that such advertising campaigns must “stick to the facts”. Ads must be presented in a “factual and balanced way” and correctly reflect the content of the applicable “summary of product characteristics”.

The only cosmetic use of botox in the UK which is permitted without prescription is in relation to its application to vertical lines on the forehead between frown lines. Beyond such use, botox is only available from doctors by prescription. Any advertising which promotionally markets botox as a beauty treatment will breach the CAP and BCAP Codes. The ASA intends to use this ruling as a precedent to all online advertisers of botox products. With a product that could be harmful to health, the ASA will be on the lookout for any ads which link botox to beauty.

CAP has published advice and guidance on anti-ageing and botox claims viewable here.

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