With the busy Christmas period over for another year, now is a good time to step up a gear and attract new clients into your salon. Advertising is a great way to publicise the services you offer, but it’s vital to ensure your ads don’t break the law.
Get the basics right
The law says that your marketing and advertising must be legal, decent, honest and truthful,” says National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) chief executive Hilary Hall. “Your descriptions of products and services must be accurate and your pricing must be clear and transparent.” Breaking advertising laws can have serious consequences, warns Hall, including fines or even imprisonment.
Salon advertising rules
“You must be particularly careful when advertising beauty products and services as the laws covering this are very strict,” says Hall.
“For example, any claims you make must be backed by reliable evidence and you must not use confusing scientific terms to describe common conditions.
“In addition, you cannot claim that certain treatments, such as electrolysis or laser hair reduction, are painless, and you must not claim that a cosmetic product can cure a medical condition.”
Skin treatment advertising
You cannot advertise botulinum toxin products or use their brand names (such as Botox, Dysport, Vistabel, Bocouture, and Azzalure), warns Hall. “This is because they are prescription-only medicines and cannot be advertised to the public. Some beauty salons have been caught out by this rule.
“You can advertise that you provide ‘a consultation for the treatment of wrinkles’ - but you must not make any reference to the product itself,” explains Hall.
Body image and gender stereotypes
If you use images of people in your adverts, you must ensure that they do not look underweight or unhealthy, says Hall. “You must also be careful not to suggest that someone’s happiness depends on having an ‘ideal’ body shape or certain physical features.
“In addition, new rules introduced in June 2019 say that adverts must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm or serious/widespread offence.”
Adverts can still show, for example, women doing housework and men doing DIY, but you must not suggest that certain activities are only carried out by either men or women.
Free gifts, special offers and discounts
You cannot claim something is free if your client has to pay anything other than the cost of collecting it or having it delivered.
“In addition, you must not claim that the cost of a product or service has been greatly reduced if it hasn’t, and you must not falsely claim that a lower price will only be available for a limited time,” explains Hall.
NHBF members can download a free in-depth guide to advertising law at nhf.info/advertising-guide
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