Cosmetic Filler Instagram Ads Featuring Kim Kardashian And Kylie Jenner Have Been Banned

In a crackdown on cosmetic surgery ads, brands have been warned not to suggest celebrities had used their products if they hadn’t.
An ad by Faces by AKJ Aesthetics.
Supplied by ASA
An ad by Faces by AKJ Aesthetics.

Three Instagram ads for cosmetic procedures featuring photos of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have been banned for “misleading” consumers.

Two of the ads – one for beauty salon Queen of Aesthetics and another for the salon Faces by AKJ Aesthetics – included photos of Jenner, advertising what the sellers were calling “The Kylie Jenner Package” and “The Kylie Package”. Both packages included lip, cheek and jawline fillers.

Faces by AKJ Aesthetics had offered the package as a competition prize – a move branded “irresponsible” by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Both companies were challenged on whether the ads misleadingly suggested the package would give customers lips, cheeks and a jawline that closely resembled those of Jenner. The ASA told both brands not to suggest celebrities had used their products if they hadn’t, and warned Faces by AKJ Aesthetics not to trivialise non-cosmetic procedures.

Faces by AKJ Aesthetics was also criticised for using the hashtag #botox. ‘Botox’ is a trademarked, prescription-only medicine which can’t be advertised, ASA explained.

An ad by Queen of Aesthetics.
Supplied by ASA
An ad by Queen of Aesthetics.

A third ad, posted on Instagram by beauty salon Beauty Boutique Aesthetics, advertised ‘Botox’ treatments, using a photo of Kim Kardashian and the caption: “When someone is listing the reasons they don’t need Botox and all you can think about is how many units they need...”.

Further text next to the photo stated: “Many beauty technicians may be more than qualified, but always ask yourself, can they administer emergency drugs if the client has an adverse effect? The answer is no.”

The ASA ruled that the caption suggested Beauty Boutique Aesthetics staff had sufficient training to administer emergency drugs in the event of a client having an adverse reaction to a procedure.

However, the watchdog said it had received “no evidence” that Beauty Boutique Aesthetics had the trained staff or resources to deal with any adverse reactions to procedures they administered.

An ad by Beauty Boutique Aesthetics.
Supplied by ASA
An ad by Beauty Boutique Aesthetics.

Again, the salon was told not to use the branded ‘Botox’ in future ads for other fillers and injections.

The latest ASA crackdown comes after Instagram announced it would also be implementing tighter restrictions on posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery last week.

Under its new rules, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures that have an incentive to buy, or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content which makes a “miraculous” claim about a diet or weight-loss product and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, will now be removed from Instagram.

What do the brands say?

The ASA rulings had a mixed response from the brands. While Beauty Boutique Aesthetics did not respond to the ASA’s inquiries, Faces by AKJ Aesthetics agreed to change its practices in response.

The company agreed not to run similar competitions in future, adding that they would add the text “results may vary between clients” and “a number of treatments may be required to reach your desired look” to future ads. It also agreed to remove references to Botox in future ads. The brand said Kylie Jenner’s picture was used because she was recognisable to their target audience and showed the areas that could be treated, rather than to imply that their treatment could make consumers look like her.

In response to the ASA, Queen of Aesthetics said they had not posted any ad that told their customers they could make them resemble Kylie Jenner, adding that it would be “almost impossible” for a customer to look like anyone other than themselves.

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