Instagram posts for Botox treatments by former reality TV contestant Carl Woods have been banned for promoting a prescription-only medicine, using “celebrity” endorsement and failing to clearly mark them as ads.
Woods, an ex fiance of former glamour model Katie Price, posted six Instagram stories for Lift Aesthetics, a facial aesthetic clinic in June.
They featured Woods reclining on a salon treatment chair in the process of being injected with a syringe, with him saying: “You’re gonna make me look brand new yeah?” Others showed him being injected with a syringe in his forehead.
The sixth story featured Woods saying: “So yesterday I had my anti-wrinkle injection done with Ellie and the best part about it is, it was absolutely pain free and I can’t wait to see the results in two weeks and I’ll look brand new.”
They also told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that they were aware that it was a breach of advertising rules to refer to Botox because it was a prescription-only medicine, although they did not realise that references to anti-wrinkle injections were not permitted.
Woods told the ASA that he was not promoting an aesthetic treatment but was sharing his own personal experience on social media.
He confirmed that the posts had since been removed.
The ASA said there was an implicit agreement that Woods would repost the content Lift Aesthetics had produced, and that Lift had exerted editorial control over the language used by him.
The ASA said: “We considered that the ads went beyond the provision of factual information and instead served to promote Botox, making it appear more appealing to consumers.”
It added: “We noted that Mr Woods described himself as a reality TV star and had approximately 230,000 followers on Instagram.
“We considered that indicated he had the attention of a significant number of people.
“Because we considered that Mr Woods was a celebrity for the purpose of the Committees of Advertising Practice Code and that he had endorsed a medicine, we concluded that the ads had breached the Code.”
The ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again, adding: “We told Carl J Woods and Lift Aesthetics to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier, such as ‘ad’.
“We also told them not to promote prescription-only medicines to the general public in future and to ensure that they did not use celebrities, including reality TV stars, to endorse medicines.”