February 8, 2020 - Kendrick PR
February 8, 2020

How the New ASA Initiative Could Affect Your Marketing Strategy

The aesthetics industry has never been more popular but in an industry that can be so lucrative, competition between clinics and providers is often fierce. Growing and maintaining a loyal, repeat customer base in this industry demands an air-tight marketing strategy which is designed to attract and retain the maximum number of customers. Eager to pull out all of the stops, many businesses turn to every promotional opportunity available to them, advertising their services in person, in print and online in a tireless effort for success.

One of the caveats of promoting aesthetic services is the restrictions in place due to the popularity of botulinum toxin injections – a prescription-only medicine (POM) which cannot be legally promoted to the public. Blended against the lack of restrictions on advertising dermal fillers (a medical device) or cosmetics – the regulations can be confusing for aesthetic businesses. Marketing regulations have been increasingly tightened over the last few years by the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP),  Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), and now an even more stringent set of rules has been applied which aesthetic practitioners need to know about in order to avoid fines and potential legal action.

New guidance

The ASA has been quick to point out that the over-promotion of botulinum toxin (or “Botox” in the common vernacular) on social media and websites is the reason for its increased vigilance of all posts that make reference to Botox or “wrinkle-relaxing injections”. The implication is that even the usage of the phrase “wrinkle-relaxing injections” is an indirect promotion of a POM and is, therefore, no longer allowed.  

With this enforcement already in effect, any references you make to Botox, and your provision of it, from any of your marketing channels carries with it the eventual risk of action being brought against you by the MHRA. In terms of social media and websites, this means that any content or posts that are deemed to violate this ruling may end up being removed and subject to fines.

How can you manage this change? 

In addition to making sure that all of your promotional material remains clear of certain choice words (“Botox”, “anti-wrinkle injections”, “injectables”), it’s advisable to begin to advertise the range of injection-based services you provide, for example, Botox and fillers, as one form of treatment (“anti-ageing solutions”, perhaps?) so you don’t run the risk of promoting Botox indirectly. 

ASA guidelines advise that, instead of promoting anti-ageing solutions directly, you should focus on selling your customers a consultation in order to discuss a wide range of treatment options, should you provide these. Shout about all of your services, not a single product!

Unrivalled industry knowledge

At Kendrick PR, we have an unrivalled knowledge of the aesthetics, beauty and health industries and specialise in providing top-quality PR services to a number of high-profile clients. To find out more about what we can do for you, visit our website today http://www.kendrickpr.uk/