In this blog we are aiming to give a brief overview of the “Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners who Advertise Cosmetic Surgery” that were made effective from the 1st of July 2023. We will touch on some of the adaptations we had to make and what we are doing to continually abide by these guidelines as we move forward.
Who put these guidelines in place?
These guidelines were instituted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), reflecting their primary role, as stated on their website, to protect the public. The guidelines, meticulous in their detail, set forth standards for ethical and transparent practices in the advertising of cosmetic surgery.
What are the guidelines and how have we adapted?
Following the implementation of these guidelines, our practice underwent significant adjustments to align with the stipulated standards. This process involved a meticulous review of our social media and website content, to ensure we were in adherence on all fronts. Taking into consideration Dr Scamp’s extensive social media presence this process took around 3 months to implement.
Before and after imagery was one of the many aspects affected by these changes. The guidelines stipulating many new changes. An example of one that was responsible for the removal of numerous posts was surrounding the effort to ensure imagery must be as similar as possible. Difference in before and after imagery such as clothing, jewellery and makeup was determined to have the potential to impact the genuineness of the comparison by improving the after image.
Caption alterations were another crucial aspect of our adaptation process. The guidelines necessitated the removal of all emoji’s, enforced the use of medical terminology alongside colloquial terms such as ‘boob job’ (breast augmentation), and the avoidance of non-clinical adjectives like “amazing” and “perfect” to prevent trivializing cosmetic surgery.
Testimonials, reposting patient stories, or engaging with reviews on social media became restricted. We disabled the option to be tagged in posts, and allow comments on posts across all platforms. The guidelines also dictated that any imagery or videos featuring music, dancing, singing, or comedic comments are not permitted.
Taking this into account, we’ve redefined our content strategy to prioritize education, aligning with the guidelines’ emphasis on the responsible use of visuals for informative purposes only. In our unwavering commitment to compliance, we’ve embraced this shift, aiming to provide valuable information about cosmetic surgery without the need for sensationalized language or imagery.
While navigating these guidelines has presented challenges, they reflect a conscientious effort to balance consumer safeguarding with upholding the highest standards in cosmetic surgery advertising. Navigating these guidelines is an ongoing process, underscoring the delicate balance between consumer protection and the practicalities of effective communication. Our commitment to compliance remains a testament to our dedication to ethical medical practice and transparency in the realm of cosmetic surgery.