Clinics offering cosmetic surgery will soon be prohibited from targeting advertisements at those under the age of 18. This affects procedures such as breast enhancement, rhinoplasties and liposuction.
The ban comes on the back of a consultation by the Committee for Advertising Practice, which writes codes that UK advertisers follow, which investigated the potential harm that adverts for cosmetic procedures can have on young people's mental health, in particular the effects on body image.
The new rules, which come into effect in May 2022, will affect adverts aimed at under-18s on all forms of media, including social media (e.g. Facebook, TikTok, Instagram), as well as billboards, newspapers/magazines, radio, and even social influencer marketing.
The Advertising Standards Authority, which enforces the UK advertising code, commented that "it is important we set the bar necessarily high in terms of marketing", due to the inherent risks of cosmetic procedures and the potential appeal to young people with body confidence issues.
The ban will not affect advertisements for cosmetics such as creams, makeup, lotions, face masks, tanning or hair products.
“Because of the inherent risks of cosmetic intervention procedures, and the potential appeal of these services to young people struggling with body confidence issues, it is important we set the bar necessarily high in terms of marketing,”