A Facebook post, for What's On Bristol, seen 19 December 2017, stated “Lip Filler for those kisses under the mistletoe. Courtesy of our friends at British Cosmetic Clinic. All you have to do is Like, Comment … and Share this Competition … Get Liking and Sharing”.
The complainant challenged whether the promotion, which offered cosmetic surgery as a prize, was irresponsible.
What's On Group Ltd t/a What’s On Bristol stated they had carefully selected the winner, discussed suitability with the British Cosmetic Clinic and ensured they were over 18 years. They understood the winner had to complete a health questionnaire with the British Cosmetic Clinic before having the procedure, to ensure it was suitable for them to have that treatment.
What’s On Bristol stated they ran monthly and daily competitions on their social media pages and that future competitions would make clear that the competitions were only available for people over the age of 18, that any winners would have to be deemed eligible for the treatment and would have to meet any relevant criteria.
The British Cosmetic Clinic stated that lip filler was a non-surgical procedure which could be carried out by beauticians. They confirmed that the winner had a face-to-face consultation and medical check with their nurse on 1 February 2017 and the treatment was booked for 17 March 2017, which gave the winner a cooling off period of over a month. They confirmed that all aspects of the treatment and risks associated with the treatment were explained during the winner’s consultation and she was happy to go ahead with the treatment. There would be another face-to-face consultation on 17 March before the treatment to make sure her medical history or health had not changed.
The ASA acknowledged that the British Cosmetic Clinic’s usual consultation process had not been relaxed because the patient had won the lip filler procedure as a prize. We noted that a prize winner would only receive the procedure if they were over 18, were deemed to be suitable for the procedure after an initial consultation and then still wished to go ahead with the treatment after a suitable cooling off period. We therefore considered that the administration of the prize-giving had been carried out responsibly.
We understood the competition appeared on a Facebook page promoting listings and events in Bristol, as well as a Facebook post which could appear to Facebook users. We considered it was therefore likely to be seen by a general audience, as opposed to only those who had previously expressed an interest in beauty or cosmetic procedures. In addition, we noted that Facebook users could enter the competition by commenting, liking or sharing the post, which would further increase its untargeted reach.
We noted there was no charge or financial commitment required to take part in the competition or to receive the surgery, and understood the promotion was only available to those who were over 18. However, we were concerned that the age-limit was not expressly stated in the Facebook post and that the ad did not make clear the competition was intended for adults only, particularly as people were encouraged to share the post to enter the competition. We were also concerned that the ad did not include any further information regarding the procedure or the terms and conditions. We therefore considered it failed to convey the significance of a decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure of this kind, including to under 18s, who were not made aware that they were excluded from the offer.
In light of that, because the promotion, in the form of an untargeted Facebook post which was encouraged to be shared, did not communicate the age limit for the competition or provide any further information regarding the terms and conditions, we concluded that it was irresponsible.
We welcomed What’s On Bristol’s assurance that they would clarify the terms of future competitions.
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told What's On Bristol to ensure that any future promotions for cosmetic treatments included sufficient and sufficiently prominent information regarding the entry criteria and other terms and conditions.