Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Advertising complaints

Advertising complaints

For the public

What should patients know about health advertising?

Advertising can provide helpful information about regulated health services. Advertising must comply with certain requirements to be lawful and advertisers (including registered health practitioners) are responsible for making sure their advertising complies with the advertising requirements.

Here are some resources on what to look out for.

What about social media?

Guidelines and the Code of conduct that apply to health practitioners also extend to social media. Practitioners must still meet their obligations when using social media. They must adhere to strict advertising guidelines.

What about testimonials?

Testimonials are not allowed in advertising. This is because they are often personal comments and the outcomes experienced by one person do not reflect the outcomes (or likely outcomes) available to others. They may not tell the whole story. For example, only including positive comments and not providing complete information about risks, side effects or pricing. See more in our advertising resources.

I want to report an advertising breach, where do I go?

You can make a complaint about cosmetic surgery advertising to our new Cosmetic Surgery Hotline – 1300 361 041

You can also make a complaint using our criminal offences process

More resources are on our advertising hub.

For practitioners

What are the rules on advertising?

The current Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service outline what is expected of registered health practitioners when they advertise. A summary of the advertising requirements for advertisers is available on our advertising hub.

The Medical Board of Australia has published additional guidance on how the advertising requirements of the National Law apply to cosmetic surgery advertising

More resources: Advertising FAQs

What am I allowed to do on social media?

The advertising rules are relevant to practitioners' use of social media. We have produced guidance on how to meet your obligations when using social media.

Updates to advertising guidelines

Following the recent independent review, we are developing new advertising guidelines to make cosmetic surgery safer. We will provide further updates when we consult on these new cosmetic surgery advertising guidelines. 

The Medical Board of Australia has also published information about the changes coming for cosmetic surgery advertising. This lets medical practitioners know that changes are coming and provides information about what those changes may look like.

Our Cosmetic Surgery Hotline – 1300 361 041 - is a new service to report unsafe cosmetic surgery practises. Practitioners who are aware of unsafe cosmetic surgery practices are also encouraged to call.

If we know about it, we can investigate it. This specialised notifications team is here to listen Monday to Friday. 

I want to report an advertising breach, where do I go?

You can make a complaint about cosmetic surgery advertising to our new Cosmetic Surgery Hotline – 1300 361 041

You can also make a complaint using our criminal offences process

More resources are on our advertising hub.

 
 
Page reviewed 8/11/2022