Published: 17 January 2020  (Updated: 17 January 2020)

ASA Rulings on Botox

On 9 January 2020 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issued guidance on the advertising of botulinum toxin injections (Botox) on social media platforms; this guidance was jointly created with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Botulinum toxin injections are prescription only medicines (POMs) and therefore cannot be legally advertised to the public.  Companies must ensure not to promote this type of treatment to the public when promoting specific services they offer.  Companies are advised to take immediate action and make relevant changes to their social media adverts, as after 31 January 2020 the ASA will undergo active enforcement action on this type of adverts to ensure a level playing field.  For more information, please also seethe ASA enforcement updates.

CTPA would like to remind companies that injectables are not cosmetic products.  This is because, as stated in the definition of cosmetic product in Article 2 of the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation (CPR), cosmetic products are “to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (skin, hair, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity”.  Injectables are therefore out of scope. 

For more information, companies can consult the public FAQ on Borderline products.

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