In recent developments, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued an enforcement notice to ban the advertising of Botox on social media and other web platforms. But what does this mean exactly and how will it affect the cosmetic and aesthetics industry?

Whilst the strict enforcement of the law in this area is new, the UK ban on advertising prescription drugs is something that has been in force for many years. So whilst this is a new directive, the law on prescription drugs is crystal clear.

So whilst there is no major news here, the announcement from the ASA comes with a twist.

Apart from the term Botox, which is clearly the name of a prescription drug, the ASA is also asking to stop references to things such as anti-wrinkle injections, which in this light, is seen as referring to the banned branded substance.

So what is the ASA asking of cosmetic surgeries and aesthetics clinics in a nutshell?

  1. To remove all mentions of Botox and wrinkle injections from social media (for at least all the latest posts)
  2. To also remove mentions of under-arm injections or hyperhidrosis
  3. To refrain from advertising for any of the above in the future, or risk a fine

What allowances does the ASA make?

  1. Suppliers are still allowed to advertise to clinics (but they have to ensure the public does not see the ads)
  2. Renaming to “Treatment of Line & Wrinkles” without making any explicit mentions to an injection
  3. The ASA does not offer a definition or list of social media website where the ban is enforceable


Whilst these are not very significant changes, they would impact the business of line & wrinkle treatments considerably. Partly because of the disruption to the advertising and the time it will take everyone to adjust. And partly because the ban adds a level of insecurity to the public. If it is ok to do, why is it banned?

To find out more how you can navigate best through these latest changes, please get in touch with one of our experts.