An Execution Notice Not to Sniff – Kenalog Injections – ASA

Its arrival is welcomed by most, but for those who suffer from hay fever, summer means a runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing.

It has come to our attention that Kenalog, a steroid injection, is offered by a number of beauty and aesthetic clinics to treat hay fever and is widely advertised on their websites and their social media platforms.

Kenalog is a prescription-only (POM) medicine and, under Code Rule 12.12, cannot be advertised to the public. Additionally, it is not licensed in the UK for the treatment of hay fever.

Following the publication of several ASA rulings, we have today published a new enforcement notice, co-branded with the MHRA, regarding the advertising of Kenalog injections.

What did the ASA decide?

The ASA has taken a tough stance on ads promoting Kenalog injections to the public, speaking out against social media posts containing direct references to Kenalog injections and featuring images of a box and vials from Kenalog, and indirect references to Kenalog such as “allergy injection” and “#hayfeverinjection”.

The ASA also found that an advertisement stating “book your consultation”, accompanied by a reference to a “hay fever injection”, clearly implied that the consultation would result in the prescription of Kenalog to the consumer.

What should advertisers do?

In summary, when promoting the services they offer for the treatment of hay fever on social media, advertisers should remove direct references to Kenalog in the text of a message, as well as in images and hashtags. . Indirect references such as “hay fever injection” and “hay fever shot” will be deemed by the ASA to have the same effect as the Kenalog promotion and should be avoided. Remember, this applies to the use of emojis (i.e. syringe emojis), company names or social media accounts, testimonials, and memes.

Likewise, when promoting consultations for the treatment of hay fever, care should be taken that Kenalog is not directly or indirectly advertised.

And then ?

Starting Monday, August 29, 2022, the Compliance team will take targeted enforcement action using our monitoring technology to remove non-compliant ads and help ensure a level playing field.

If you want advice on a specific ad, CAP offers a range of services to help you comply with the rules, including free bespoke copy advice. Please visit our website for more details.


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