Two ads for Skincodes Aesthetics, a clinic offering beauty and wellness procedures, seen on 21 January 2022:
a. A post on Skincodes Aesthetics’ Instagram page stated, “If you love the Spring or Summer but hate the hay-fever [sic] symptoms that the seasons bring, you might want to consider an annual Kenalog injection. Call or email for a free consultation. #kenalog #pollenallergy #hayfeverinjection”. The text was accompanied by an image of a Kenalog medicine packet and three Kenalog vials.
b. A post on the advertiser’s Facebook page featured the same text and image as ad (a).
IssueThe ASA challenged whether the ads breached the Code because they advertised Kenalog, a prescription-only medicine, to the public.
ResponseSkincodes Aesthetics accepted that they should not have promoted prescription-only medicines to the general public on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. They said at the time of posting the ads, they had been unaware of the advertising rules relating to prescription-only medicines and had since removed the ads.
The CAP Code stated that prescription-only medicines or prescription-only medical treatments must not be advertised to the public.
The ASA understood that Kenalog was a prescription-only medicine. The posts featured an image of a Kenalog box and vials of the product, text stating “… consider a Kenalog injection. Call or email for a free consultation #kenalog …” and was visible to anyone visiting Skincodes Aesthetics’ Instagram and Facebook pages. The posts also featured the text “#hayfeverinjection”, which we considered to be an indirect reference to Kenalog. We therefore considered the ads promoted prescription-only medicines to the general public and concluded that they breached the Code. We welcomed Skincodes Aesthetics’ assurance that they had removed the ads.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 12.12 12.12 Prescription-only medicines or prescription-only medical treatments may not be advertised to the public. (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Skincodes Aesthetics not to promote prescription-only medicines to the general public in future.