Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) oversees advertisement of goods in Australia and has set forth the requirements of advertising in Australia in amendments of Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 came in action in March 2018 and amendments made to Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No. 2) 2018, which came in action in January 2019.
What are therapeutic Goods?
Therapeutic goods are intended to have an effect on the body, and there may be risks involved with their use. The therapeutic goods legislation ensures advertisements for therapeutic goods do not encourage inappropriate or irresponsible use of therapeutic goods
Types Media Platforms for advertising:
Advertising is not limited to a specific type, or types of media. It can include articles published in journals, magazines and newspapers, displays on posters and notices, photographs, film, broadcast material, video recording, electronic transmissions and material posted on the internet. Point-of-sale materials, leaflets, booklets and other promotional materials that include specific product claims and which are supplied separately from the product may also be advertisements.
A social media post that promotes the use or supply of therapeutic goods is an advertisement
Social Media Advertising:
Social media advertising is a broad and influential platform. Social media influencers engage large amount of audience by promoting goods for companies. Any post that promotes the use or supply of a therapeutic good is an advertisement. In order to maintain ethical advertisments of therapeutic goods in Australia, Therapeutic Goods Administration restricts social media influencers to advertise any false or unethical claims on any therapeutic goods.
Tips for businesses of therapeutic Goods:
- businesses should adopt an ‘acceptable use policy’ on its own social media page, warning third parties that non-compliant comments will be removed from the page
- Businesses should provide corrective information if they become aware of misinformation from third parties on social media channels.
- Advertisers need to ensure any corrective information also complies with the advertising requirements if the corrective information is used within an advertisement or it is an advertisement in its own right.
Tips for Social Media Influencers:
Social Media influencers who are involved with a therapeutic goods company, meaning you have been paid or given a product by the company to promote their products, should consider the following while advertising:
- Any post about a therapeutic good that you make may be considered advertising. Therefore, you also have an obligation to comply with the advertising requirements for therapeutic goods.
- Any comments you make about your personal experience with therapeutic goods are considered testimonials.
- A testimonial is NOT permitted by those involved in the production, sale, supply or marketing of the goods.
- This includes influencers who are engaged by a therapeutic goods company to promote the goods.
- Your social media posts may have an impact on your followers’ beliefs, attitudes, preferences and behaviors.
- Your comments about therapeutic goods can influence consumers’ choices and keep in mind that therapeutic goods should be chosen on the basis of clinical need, not through the persuasion of influencers.
- Understand what the approved purpose of the good.
- Do not advertise the good for a purpose other than specified, even if your experience with the good is otherwise
- For more information about the intended purpose of a therapeutic good, see the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
- Seek advice from a lawyer or regulatory affairs consultant if you are unsure about your obligations in relation to social media advertising of therapeutic goods.
For more information about advertising therapeutic goods, visit the TGA Advertising Hub.
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