A recent blog in the New York Times highlighted Smoothmed, a medical aesthetic clinic in Manhattan which is currently advertising various deals on Botox® in its ‘shop’ window, half a block away from Bloomingdale’s and Park Avenue.
The clinic, which operates primarily on a walk-in, no appointment required basis, offers different deals to cater for different budgets; though not satisfied with just putting up a poster in their clinic window to tell everyone about their deals, they have installed neon signs which shine out across the neighbourhood at passing trade all night long!
Images from the New York Times
Unlike in the UK where the marketing of prescription only medicines, such as Botox® and other botulinum toxin brands is not permitted to the public, in America they are free to promote this drug in magazines, on TV, on billboards and using neon signs it would seem!
Wouldn’t it be a different world if this was allowed in the UK? The Christmas lights in Oxford Street would never be the same again!
But seriously, despite stricter rules in the USA governing the licensing of medicines and devices through the Food & Drug Administration, as compared to the UK & Europe, it seems that we’re the ones with the stricter rules when it comes to the advertising and promotion of products which are now seen as common place to have, despite their drug and prescription only status.
Will this ever change? Would it really be a bad thing if an advert for Botox® ran alongside one for Juvéderm ULTRA in the break between an episode of Coronation Street?
With regulation at the top of the agenda at the moment, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll be following our American cousins when it comes to the promotion of wrinkle busting injections, particularly as France has taken steps to ban cosmetic surgery advertising which may in turn tempt other countries to follow suit and bring in even further European restrictions on this side of the Atlantic.