Medical procedures and services
Helpful information on the advertising rules for medical procedures and services, and examples of previous Advertising Standards Authority rulings in this area.
Ads for medical procedures and services should be prepared with a degree of social responsibility and should not trivialise the process of going through any invasive procedures or surgery.
Proven procedures being advertised is fine as long as the procedures are carried out under suitably qualified supervision and advertisers hold evidence in the form of clinical trials, to support efficacy claims.
Certain legislations also need to be taken in to account for ads for some medical services such as The Health and Social Care Act 2008 for the advertisement of Post Conception Advice Services (PCAS) for women.
However, in general, advertisers should be careful not to imply a medical procedure or service can cure someone of a particular ailment or illness if the outcome is not permanent and the effects of surgery can wane or be reversed. They should also avoid implying the procedure or service is suitable for all patients and always successful.
They should also be careful when offering related promotions to their services, especially if they are time-limited promotions. Consumers should always be given a reasonable amount of time to consider all aspects of committing to a surgical procedure and not feel rushed in to a decision because of a competition or money-off offer. When it comes to promotions, we advise advertisers to provide a lengthy cancellation policy and a strict consultation process before the procedure to ensure consumers have time to contemplate if they are making the right choice.