Who: CAP and BCAP
Where: United Kingdom
When: 10 September 2020
Law stated as at: 5 October 2020
CAP and BCAP have jointly launched a consultation on introducing new rules around what they are calling “cosmetic interventions”. This new term is intended to capture cosmetic surgery such as breast augmentation but also non-surgical techniques intended to enhance appearance such as Botox. The consultation document makes it clear that “cosmetic interventions” would not include anything which is regulated as a cosmetic so face creams and make up adverts would not be caught by the new restrictions.
The new rules would simply be limited to a prohibition on targeting adverts at under 18s. There are no restrictions planned for content – yet.
Why this matters:
This is just one in a series of restrictions on targeting children with certain types of adverts. The most high profile of which has been the government announcement that it will bring in a watershed ban for so-called junk food adverts. While the intention behind such restrictions are absolutely laudable, avoiding targeting children in certain media such as the Internet is complex and places an additional compliance burden on advertisers. The consequence is that there is now a new industry that will need to become familiar with this complex and evolving body of rules.
It is also further evidence that CAP and BCAP are looking to continue to police issues around the impact of advertising on body image. The report itself says that further research will be conducted and one can only assume this means additional rules may be introduced in the future, for example, relating to content of cosmetic intervention adverts. The research itself may also touch on the advertising of cosmetics more generally and therefore it is possible that we will see more restrictions on advertising cosmetics in the future.