What was once considered a treatment for people aged over 40, today draws in an ever younger audience.
Opinion will always be split on whether this development is good or healthy. However, the reality is that men and women of all ages are using Google and other search engines to seek out the best and safest practitioners.
In the United Kingdom, the increasing number of posts on social media promoting Botox have come to the attention of the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). In January 2020, they responded by launching a campaign to prevent botulinum toxin injections from being unlawfully advertised.
Google also has a rigorous Healthcare and Medicines policy governing the promotion of prescription medicine, with the manufacturers of these pharmaceutical also not allowed to use the search engine to promote them in the UK.
So, how can you run successful aesthetics campaigns that meet the regulatory requirements? Perhaps you have a dental practice that derives its fair share of turnover from aesthetic treatments. Or perhaps you have tried unsuccessfully to run your own campaigns and simply want to understand what’s possible. Below, we’ve shared tips for success.
Points to consider
The CAP Executive’s guidance says::
“Botox is a prescription-only medicine (POM) and as such, cannot be advertised to the public… In traditional non-broadcast media, such as leaflets, press ads, brochures, posters and even on sponsored ads, the ASA considers almost every reference to Botox and other botulinum toxin products as promoting a POM.”
What is possible?
- You can offer consultations for treating lines and wrinkles, and mention Botox if you’re referring to it as a possible treatment option after a consultation.
Information about your consultations can be added to your webpage, advertisements or social media, but you should carefully consider the wording.
For example, the advice says, “it’s likely to be considered acceptable” to say, “ ‘A consultation for the treatment of lines and wrinkles’,” but you shouldn’t refer to Botox in the digital ad that drives prospective patients to your website or in information about your consultation. You should also ensure that anyone visiting your webpage or social media channels isn’t presented with information about Botox. Ads that encourage potential patients to request it as a treatment option should also definitely be avoided.
You can include Botox in your price list, but it shouldn’t be accompanied by product claims or encourage prospective patients to choose it based on the price. It also shouldn’t be visible at first glance on the homepage.
- Use creative language. If you offer treatments in addition to Botox that aren’t POMs, you can use phrases in your ads, such as ‘cosmetic fillers’ and ‘injected fillers’.
What’s not possible?
As well as the caveats listed above, you should also avoid referring to Botox:
- On Instagram or any other social media channel, including in your hashtags.
- In any advertising campaigns and sponsored ad.
- Anywhere on your website (except on the pricing page, as mentioned above).
- Directly or indirectly in any marketing statements (for example, you can’t say, “Beats Botox”).
- In any advertisement campaigns.
- On your website home page.
- In a patient testimonial.
- When promoting a service as a way of obtaining Botox.
- As being endorsed by a health professional.
Using before and after photos is also not recommended, because the ASA could interpret this as an efficacy claim.
How can this be practically executed?
- Whatever medium you decide to advertise on, consider using wording that centres more around the outcome. For example, ‘younger looking skin’ or ‘skin rejuvenation’.
- When designing landing pages for advertising cosmetic procedures, use language that does not directly intimate that patients will get Botox as a course of treatment.
There is a lot to consider. If you’re thinking about advertising without the help of a specialist dental marketing agency, you should always research up-to-date information published by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Just in case you are in any doubt, derma fillers are not a POM, so you can showcase these however you wish. However, the best approach is always to focus on the benefits of a treatment both rational and emotional, which makes for a far more powerful campaign strategy. For those ads, keep it simple and consider the use of visual metaphors to direct the patient to a call-to-action area on an advertisement or your webpage.
Over to you
Are you ready to build successful, compliant Facebook and Google campaigns and ensure your website content meets Google’s strict language rules? Let’s talk. We would be happy to help and advise you.
In the meantime, to discover more actionable ways to get better results from your digital marketing, click below to read the Ultimate Guide to Dental Marketing. This ‘how-to’ guide is packed with short and long-term marketing tactics designed to improve practices’ financial performance.