Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts to remember when advertising Botox and Facial Aesthetics on Social Media

When it comes to promoting the treatments you offer at your dental practice, Social Media is a great place to attract new patients, showcase your work and advertise exactly what you offer. 

It can be hard to keep on top of the ever changing landscape of Social Media and how to best utilise its features  (why not check out our post on How to Use Instagram Reels to increase engagement for your practice) so it’s always important to remember that, with any marketing and advertising, Social Media has rules and regulations on how to promote your business ethically and responsibly. 

As Social Media continues to evolve, so do the guidelines on promoting your business and treatments. 

In a recent Parliamentary debate, one MP even described the non surgical beauty industry to be ‘The Wild West’ when it comes to the lack of regulation, and is calling for a review on misleading advertising on Social Media. 

The ASA, (Advertising Standards Authority) is the UK’s independent advertising regulator, that makes sure ads across UK media stick to the advertising rules, including across Digital Marketing and Social Media. The ASA offers advice and outlines the appropriate codes of conduct for advertisers to ensure that users are marketing within legal guidelines. 

Not only that, they can make a huge difference in ensuring that your Digital Marketing efforts on Social Media are responsible and transparent, and help you avoid the possibility of being banned from the use of potentially misleading, harmful, offensive or irresponsible content. 

So what is the ASA’s advice for Dental Practices utilising Social Media to promote their Botox and Facial Aesthetics treatments?

We have gathered up some of the top pieces of advice to always consider before posting online…

Do NOT use the word Botox (or Botulinum toxin) in your posts

It’s a hard fact that Botox – or Botulinum toxin injections –  are prescription-only medicines (POMs)  and as such cannot be advertised to the public.

Take care not to directly or indirectly promote POMs to the public when promoting the treatment services you offer on Social Media. 

Remove direct references to Botox or other POMs. This includes any brand names or variations for anti-wrinkle injections such as “Beautytox” or “Beautox” where the obvious inference is a reference to Botox.  Remember – this includes references in images and hashtags e.g. #botox.

This rule applies to all promotional marketing, like offering “Botox parties” or “Botox treatment” as a competition prize or in a sale package.

DO promote the service you provide and the consultation itself

Claims such as “a consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles” may be acceptable – but if using this approach you must be careful not to directly or indirectly advertise the POM. 

Be careful with your wording and  try not to substitute direct references to POMs with indirect phrases that can only refer to that treatment such as “wrinkle relaxing injections”. This can be seen as an indirect promotion of a POM, and just as much of a problem. 

Instead try to find language to promote the consultation and what the patient can expect from a procedure with yourselves. Will they be coming in to meet your friendly and helpful team? Perhaps they can utilise your floral inspired selfie backdrop after their treatment – or will be met with a complimentary glass of fizz after? Stick to these details that help to promote the consultation – rather than the implementation or promotion of Botox. 

Do NOT reference Botox as a way of treating medical conditions

This can also be an easy trap many fall into, when it comes to the murkier waters of medical conditions (e.g. excessive sweating) and Botox being used as a potential treatment. 

Be sure to avoid promotions that could indicate the promotion of a POM, for example “injections for excessive sweating” (hyperhidrosis). If you offer non POM treatments, however, you could instead refer to “treatments for excessive sweating” or similar.

DO be specific when promoting alternative facial aesthetic treatments

Non-POMs, such as dermal fillers, may be advertised provided there is no implication that a POM is also available.

Be specific when promoting these alternative treatments instead, and use terms such as “dermal fillers” or “cosmetic fillers” to be expressly clear that you are only advertising your non-POM “filler”. 

Try to avoid describing your non-POM product range in an ambiguous way. For instance, avoid juxtapositions such as “anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers” which would imply that the “injections” in question are POMs.

Do NOT share ‘before and after pictures’ to promote your cosmetic treatments

You cannot share imagery if you only offer prescription-only treatments or an image shows the ‘before and after’ of a client who has received Botox,  as this will be seen as an Ad for the prescription-only treatment.

However, if you offer both prescription-only treatments like Botox and also non-prescription only treatments like fillers, you are able to include images if they show someone who has received a non-prescription only treatment. 

Be careful to ensure that you’re explicit in the caption that the photos relate to the non-prescription only treatment.

It is worth noting that it is also unlikely to be acceptable to show a ‘before and after’ image of a client who has received Botox and then falsely claim that they received a non-prescription only treatment, because this can be seen as materially misleading. So make sure you’re careful when taking and sharing images from your different treatments. 

The best practice is to make sure you have a signed and dated proof that the photos are genuine, and representative of what can be achieved.

Overall – remember: 

  • You cannot imply that someone could or should look better than they already do
  • You cannot target people by their ‘pain point’ – e.g. thin lips, crows feet
  • You cannot use before and after photos of a Facial Aesthetic treatment 
  • You cannot use brand names in your Social Media posts 

Then remember: 

  • You can advertise and post about the consultation your patients would receive 
  • You can post ‘after’ photos of those who’ve received a non-POM treatment
  • You can discuss ‘fillers’ and non-POM treatments 
  • If in doubt – air on the side of caution and only write about how fantastic your patient looks and feels after a ‘visit’ to your practice.

Why not download our FREE SWIPE FILE! Click here to grab our Social Media Patient Consent Form to ensure you’re covered when it comes to using patient images across your media.

You can read the complete ASA guidelines on Cosmetic Treatments here:

NB: This article was correct at the time of its publication (22/07/2021) Dominate Dental assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. 

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