ASA rules against advertising hydrocortisone injections

11 Nov 2022

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against an aesthetic clinic after they released two advertisements promoting prescription-only hydrocortisone injections.

The initial adverts, posted by a clinic in Doncaster in August 2022, were promoting ‘steroid joint injections’, and showed a practitioner injecting a patient’s knee with hydrocortisone to treat painful joints.

The clinic responded to the complaint, stating they believed that if they referred to the treatment as ‘hydrocortisone injections’ rather than a specific brand name, they would not be advertising a prescription-only medication.

However, the ASA stated in their ruling that because hydrocortisone is a type of steroid and steroids are prescription-only, the adverts were in breach of the code.

The clinic has agreed to remove the advertisements, and the ASA has stated that they must not advertise prescription-only medications in future.

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