Public consultation open on rules to stop cosmetic surgery ads aimed at under 18s

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) – the body responsible for writing the UK Advertising Codes – has launched a public consultation on new rules that would ban cosmetics surgery adverts geared at under 18s

The consultation period, which started on September 10, is in response to public health concerns about the potential harm cosmetic interventions advertising is having on young people. 

The new proposed rules would apply across all media, introducing age-based restrictions on the targeting, scheduling and placement of cosmetic interventions advertising. At the moment, there are no legal restrictions on the advertising of cosmetic surgery adverts to under-18s. 

The new rules would prohibit ads from being directed at those aged under 18 through the selection of media or context in which they appear, including in or adjacent to TV programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to, audiences below the age of 18.

Ads for breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and dermal fillers would be subject to these new rules, but not ads for cosmetic products such as haircare, make-up and skincare products. 

The consultation closes at 5pm on October 22. Read the full documentation on the “Consultation on the placement and scheduling of ads for cosmetic interventions” here and if you would like to respond to the consultation, email your response to cosmeticinterventions@cap.org.uk

Shahriar Coupal, director of the committees, said: “This is an important consultation which seeks views on a proposal to introduce tighter restrictions around the advertising of cosmetic interventions, strengthening protections for young people and better protecting them from potential harm.”

These proposals form part of a wider range of measures CAP is considering around the potential harm relating to body imager from advertising and the impact on consumers’ health. 

Earlier this year, the ASA was cracking down on beauty salons illegally advertising botox