Advertising IV Drips (Coronavirus/COVID-19)

Last week we published a new Enforcement Notice on Advertising IV Drips (Coronavirus/COVID-19) with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and this week the Compliance team have started to take targeted enforcement action to ensure a level-playing-field.

This is in response to a number of businesses advertising IV drips on websites and social media, which stated or implied that the drips could help to prevent or treat Coronavirus / COVID-19 and follows three ASA rulings which clearly established that such claims break the Ad Rules.

In essence, providers must not directly or indirectly claim that IV drips can prevent or treat Coronavirus/COVID-19. Advertisers must:

  • Remove direct references to Coronavirus or COVID-19.
  • Remove any implied or indirect claims that IV drips could help to prevent or treat Coronavirus/COVID-19. We are taking a broad approach to indirect claims in the current context, which includes;
    • Claims to treat or prevent viral infections e.g. flu.
    • References to use of the IV drip supporting government or WHO advice, or other generalised references to the current situation surrounding the pandemic.
    • Claims to “boost the immune system” or provide nutrients necessary to maintain a normally functioning immune system, in the context of general references to the pandemic, will also be a problem.
  • This applies to both formulated IV drip products and their constituent ingredients, even if those constituent ingredients are licensed medicines.

For full details, please see our Enforcement Notice.

If you would like advice on your own ads, CAP has a range of services to help you keep to the rules, including free bespoke Copy Advice for non-broadcast advertising.

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