On 1 July 2022, it is required to comply with the 2021 Code for all advertising, throughout online and social media. However, in aspect to existing hard copy advertisements which are used up by advertisers in stock, the TGA will apply a pragmatic approach and will not seek to take enforcement action where they meet with requirements for mandatory statements in the 2018 Code, rather than the 2021 Code.
The Code prohibits individuals and organisations from testimonials about the therapeutic to ensure consumers are not influenced by inappropriate endorsements and testimonials and health care choices of an individual.
The Advertising Code guidance is divided into different parts to enhance readability, as follows:
Part 1 - Objects of this Code and Definitions
Part 2 - Application of the Code
Part 3 - General requirements
Part 4 - Mandatory statements and other required information
Part 5 - Additional requirements for advertisements about particular therapeutic goods
Part 6 - Testimonials and endorsements
Part 7 - Samples and incentives
Part 8 - Restricted representations
Part 9 - Price information
The overall structure of the advertising Codes remains the same. Mandatory statements have been revised and are limited to direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC), when consumers cannot inspect the product before purchase (for example, online purchases).
Samples may be offered as advertisements has been expanded from 4 categories of products to 14 categories by the 2021 Code. The list of therapeutic goods that may be advertised to children over 12 has also been expanded.
From 1 July 2022, advertisers must ensure their practices comply with the requirements of the 2021 Code. Failure to do so may result in an offence. Depending on the type of offense committed, a company could face civil fines of up to $11 million, while criminal offence could result in imprisonment and significant penalties.
We encourage businesses to perform a general review of on the current advertising practices to ensure that they are compliant to the latest regulations.