What has changed?
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced new regulation around the paid promotion of goods via influencers. From June 1st 2022 it will be illegal for anyone to receive any benefit such as payment, free products or any other incentive to endorse or review health and skin care products. This includes acne skincare, skin lightening products, vitamins, supplements, sunscreens, protein powders, and medicine.
The new regulation also includes those who are considered experts or qualified in health-related fields, such as medical researchers, doctors, and health care professionals.
The rules will also apply to old content and therefore any posts that break the regulation will have to be removed before June 1st.
Why have regulations changed?
The TGA has expressed concern for consumers being able to make informed choices around their health. If influencers are “influenced” by monetary incentives to promote a product, it’s no surprise that they can be seen to give misleading information about the product. Considering that most influencers don’t use (or have even tried) the products they endorse, it can be unethical and even dangerous for their “health” advice to be unregulated.
From the TGA website:
This legislative instrument was made under section 42BAA of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989(link is external) (the Act). There are criminal offences and civil penalties for advertising to the public in a manner that does not comply with the Code.
Advertising of therapeutic goods requires a higher ethical standard than may apply for advertising of ordinary consumer goods because consumers rely on therapeutic goods for their health.
It can be difficult for a consumer to determine the appropriateness of a therapeutic good for their particular circumstances, so it is important that promotional material is truthful, balanced and not misleading.
- The Code exists to ensure that the advertising of therapeutic goods to the public is conducted in a manner that:
- Promotes the safe and effective use of therapeutic goods by minimising misuse, overuse or underuse
- Is ethical, does not mislead or deceive the consumer or create unrealistic expectations about product performance
- Supports informed health care choices
- Is not inconsistent with relevant current public health campaigns.
What does this mean for your business?
The first thing to mention is although the updates might affect influencer promotions for your brand, as far as we are aware it does not have any effect on other marketing activities such as advertising, email marketing, your website, customer reviews, and organic social media campaigns.
Marketing is an ever-changing landscape, be it through regulations, changing algorithms, new mediums, or platforms, it is important to never put all your eggs in one basket. A robust omni channel marketing strategy will always be the best approach to ensure you are never caught out, and ready to adapt, no matter what is thrown our way.
If you are in the skincare and health industries, ensure that your advertising and promotion of your products are within TGA’s regulations. Refer to the TGA’s website for updates.