Health and Beauty advertising masterclass tackles new UK rules

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beauty products Advertising Asa

A masterclass on advertising health and beauty products and treatments in light of the new UK codes coming into force in September is being held next week.

The Advice:am seminar is run by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), and is scheduled to take place in London on Thursday 20 May.

According to the organisers, it aims to help marketers of health and beauty products and therapies understand current codes for print and broadcast media, how the ASA applies them and provide an overview of the changes to be put in place later this year.

Speakers from ASA and CAP will lead delegates through different issues, including how these two bodies work, ASA's complaints and investigations processes, and adjudication examples.

Represnetatives from specialist advertising body Clearcast will take part in in question and answer session.

Change in regulations

UK advertising regulations are known for being some of the most stringent in the world, and the changes coming into force were devised following a two year review of existing standards.

The proposed changes (more information about which can be found here​) were made available for public consultation last year, which attracted around 30,000 comments from consumers, industry and Government.

The new codes continue to be based on the enduring principals that all adverts should be ‘legal, honest, decent and truthful’ although they are designed to be clearer, easier to use and more consistent.

The codes for health and beauty products flag up the need for scientific data to support product claims and the importance of not misleading consumers, something which several companies have fallen foul of in recent months.

Rise in complaints over health and beauty advertising

According to the ASA, the consumer watchdog saw a 52 per cent increase in the number of complaints about health and beauty adverts over the course of 2009.

It has criticised both Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson for their alleged use of airbrushing in Olay and Clean and Clear advertising campaigns respectively. Following viewer complaints, an ASA investigation ruled that the campaigns were likely to mislead consumers, as the images used to promote the products had clearly been altered. This led to both adverts being withdrawn.

When it comes to product claims, Estée Lauder, L’Oreal and Beiersdorf have all come under fire from the ASA over recent years for the advertising of products without sufficient evidence to support the claims being made.

For more information about the seminar, click here.

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