Cosmetic Advertising Changes: What You Need to Know

25 January, 2024

7 mins read

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On January 15th, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced further amendments to the guidelines surrounding advertising for the cosmetic industry, impacting thousands of Australian businesses. This update requires businesses to re-evaluate their marketing strategies and adapt to ensure compliance with updated advertising requirements related to Schedule 4 substances, namely prescription-only cosmetic injectables.

What Has in the TGA Guidelines ?

The TGA has clarified its position on the use of generalised terms referencing Schedule 4 substances, deeming them an indirect form of advertising for prescription medicines. Terms like “anti-wrinkle injections” and “dermal fillers” are no longer allowed within marketing materials, even when used broadly.

The Impact on Small Businesses

For businesses operating in the beauty and cosmetic industries, a strategic shift in your marketing approach may be required. While advertising the service itself remains allowed, directly or indirectly referencing Schedule 4 substances, even in general terms, may be considered a breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. To maintain compliance, it’s crucial to prioritise messaging that focuses on the overall service experience, individualised consultations, and non-specific anti-aging solutions. 

What You Need to Do to Ensure your Business is Compliant:

1. Transition your focus to service-oriented language. 

Highlight the personalised consultation process and the comprehensive nature of your anti-aging solutions. Replace terms like “wrinkle-reducing injections” with phrases like “non-invasive rejuvenation consultations” or “personalised anti-aging plans.” 

2. Review and revise existing marketing materials. 

Ensure all forms of advertising, including website content, social media posts, and print materials, comply with the updated regulations. Seek legal counsel if necessary for comprehensive guidance on aligning your existing materials with the new requirements.  Speak with your marketing providers to ensure they’re making the changes required.

3. Stay informed and remain proactive. 

The TGA will be providing updated guidance and hosting educational webinars to assist businesses in navigating the new regulations. Regularly check the TGA website for access to these resources and ensure your understanding of the evolving regulatory landscape. 

FAQs: Understanding the Cosmetic Surgery Advertising Guidelines 

1. How do these guidelines impact my business?  

Rest assured, these guidelines are in place to ensure ethical advertising practices. By aligning your advertising with these standards, you not only contribute to a more transparent industry but also build trust with your audience. If you have any concerns about your current marketing, we’re here to help.  

2. Who do these changes apply to? 

These changes will apply to anyone in the beauty, cosmetics and medical industries. 

3. Can I still use social media for advertising my cosmetic surgery services?

Absolutely. Social media remains a valuable tool for advertising regulated health services, including cosmetic surgery. However, it’s essential to be vigilant about the content on your public and private profiles, ensuring it complies with the guidelines.

4. How can I create advertising content that adheres to the guidelines?

Good practice involves providing balanced and accurate information. Focus on the overall service experience, including customer service and unique selling points outside of the Schedule 4 substances.

5. Can your team help my business transition smoothly to these new guidelines?

Absolutely. Our experienced team specialises in guiding businesses through industry changes. From content creation to compliance, we’re here to ensure your cosmetic surgery advertising aligns seamlessly with the updated guidelines.

6. Where can I find more information about these guidelines?

For detailed information, refer to the official guidelines provided by the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency which is due to be published in January. 

As the cosmetic surgery advertising landscape evolves, our commitment to assisting your business in adapting remains unwavering. By staying informed and collaborating with our experts, your business can thrive within the framework of these new guidelines, ensuring a positive and compliant online presence.

Please note this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not replace any legal or other professional advice.

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