Published: 18 May 2020  (Updated: 18 May 2020)

Responsible Advertising during the Coronavirus Outbreak

Following a number of upheld rulings on misleading advertising of products claiming to protect consumers against the COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published guidance on responsible advertising during the current pandemic.

The guidance is aimed at a number of different products, recommending advertisers to make serious considerations before making any efficacy claims in relation to preventing, treating or curing the COVID-19 virus, unless permitted to do so; moreover, such claims must be supported by robust documentary evidence.  The ASA also highlights that no ad should be irresponsible or exploit people’s fears regarding the current coronavirus outbreak. 

Companies are reminded that cosmetic hand gels or biocidal hand sanitisers would be classed as medicines, if making any claim related to specific pathogens (e.g. COVID-19 in this instance).  You can find more information on the legal status page for hand gels and hand sanitisers.

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