UK bans lip filler ad aimed at mothers and daughters

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned a lip filler advertisement for promoting the injections as “normal and safe” for young women and teenagers.

Published in Index magazine in October, the ad by the Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin Clinic featured a photo of three young women looking at a magazine and one of a woman having a lip filler injection with the following text:

“We understand, it’s concerning, but dermal fillers are very quickly becoming as commonplace as getting your hair done these days and even more so within the younger age group.

“Is your daughter beginning to take an interest in LIP FILLERS? Recently, we have seen an increase in young girls visiting our clinic for procedures such as Dermal Filler.

“In many cases, these girls have been brought in by their own mothers, who would rather help them find somewhere safe and suitable with experienced and accredited practitioners than simply telling them ‘no’ and letting them go behind their backs, blindly searching for the cheapest practitioner without realising the risks involved with these types of procedures …

“Education is key when it comes to cosmetic enhancements which is why we offer complimentary consultation [sic] for mothers and their daughters ‒ so together you can discuss your concerns with an experienced professional.”

Banning the ad, the ASA said that by presenting lip fillers “as normal and safe (if carried out at the right clinic) for young women and teenagers, and something that responsible parents should support” the advert was irresponsible.

“While the ad made two references to ‘the dangers of cosmetic enhancements’, both were immediately contextualised with the words “if they aren’t carried out by a suitable practitioner”, the ASA said.

“We considered those elements created the impression that the risks of lip fillers were associated only with procedures carried out by unsuitable practitioners; that it was normal for teenagers to correct perceived ‘imperfections’ with lip fillers and that, due to their growing popularity, the only choice for parents was between supporting their daughters in seeking treatment from a clinic like rtwskin or leaving them to undertake the procedure themselves somewhere else.”

RTWSkin director John Sheffield was “quite shocked at the attitude and conclusions of the ASA”.

He told  ASA that the clinic considered the decision to run the ad had been a responsible one, with a positive outcome.

He said that as well as enquiries from younger people about dermal filler for lips, the clinic also dealt with dermal filler revisions on young people who had experienced poor outcomes from treatment carried out by untrained and inexperienced therapists.

“Of those consulted as a result of the ad, approximately 30 percent had gone ahead with treatment with the rest being given information to make an informed decision.”

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