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February 14, 2022

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Pharmacy and healthcare products and services

Advertisers for pharmacy and health care products and services and health or wellness products must follow all applicable regulatory policies and local laws, including maintaining up-to-date certification for the markets in which they advertise, as applicable. See below for policy details as well as requirements specific to your market.

  • Health claims must be supported by clinical studies, appropriate consumer testing, and/or other scientific evidence.
  • Direct or indirect references or comparisons between over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications must be clinically documented.
  • Must clearly advise consumers to follow label directions (e.g., “use as directed”).
  • Advertising should contain warnings that the recommended dose should not be exceeded.
  • Claims and demonstrations must be consistent with the product’s indications, directions, and warnings. This includes, prohibiting references to food or the use of images that the user cannot clearly associate are related to the product.
  • Depictions of product ingestion are generally unacceptable.
  • Depictions of body organs are generally unacceptable.

Pharmacy and Prescription-Only Medication

Microsoft’s policy on pharmaceutical products varies by market. Microsoft Advertising restricts/limits the promotion of prescription-only drugs (human and pet)— these are medications that must be authorized by an approved medical professional, as opposed to over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

  • Advertising for prescription medication is not allowed unless otherwise noted.
  • Advertisements for online pharmacies are restricted based on applicable laws, without exception.
  • Advertisers who sell or facilitate the sale of prescription drugs online must have up-to-date certification in the markets to which they advertise.
  • Different guidelines or restrictions might apply to websites in countries or regions worldwide. In those cases, advertisers must comply with all applicable laws regulations and other requirements and references the requirements on the landing page.

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  • Advertisers may not bid on keywords relating to prescription-only medications, including prescription medications for animals, unless they are properly certified in the market they are serving.

Non-prescription medications, Over the counter (OTC), and Health Supplements

Microsoft restricts advertising for any supplement where there is reason to believe that the product could present significant health risks to a user. For example, advertising is not allowed for the following products:

  • Ephedra, ephedrine products, and ephedra-based or ma huang supplements.
  • Herbal supplements that mimic the effect of illegal substances.
  • Non-approved HIV home test kits.
  • Over-the-counter medications can only promote occasional use and treatment of minor to moderate conditions.

For more examples, please see our non-exhaustive list of Disapproved Healthcare Products and Supplements.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) cross-border advertising for the continent of Europe:
Cross-border advertising in Europe, where allowed, requires that advertisers meet requirements for the country they are advertising or providing medication from, as well as all requirements for the country they wish to target.
Additional market variations are listed below.

Austria
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
Belgium
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
Denmark
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
Finland
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
France
  • Pharmacies located within the EU, but outside France, must be authorized or otherwise registered by the ANSM.
Germany
  • Pharmacies located within one of the EU countries listed here, must be registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority.
  • Pharmacies in countries not listed here must be licensed within Germany.
Iceland
  • Marketing authorization for parallel importing to Iceland must have been granted in Iceland for the medication.
Netherlands
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
Spain
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.
Sweden
  • Pharmacies located within the EU may advertise in these countries if they are registered with their relevant local medicinal product authority and comply with all regulatory requirements and local laws for the country where they are advertising.

Pharmacy and Healthcare Country Restrictions

Albania
  • Advertising for medical procedures, products, or services that require a prescription are not allowed.
  • Advertising for doctors is not allowed.
Australia
  • Products may not claim to cure, treat, or prevent disease unless they are registered as medicines with the appropriate organization in the market where they are promoted.
Austria
  • Austrian pharmacies and their websites must meet applicable requirements (including the use of the approved logo and a direct link to the authority’s website, etc.) to advertise and sell OTC medication online. 
Belgium
  • Pharmacies must notify the Federal agency for medication and health products 30 days prior to advertising an OTC medication.
  • Pharmacies must be registered with their federal agency to sell the pharmaceutical products advertised.
Bosnia-Herzegovinia
  • Advertising for health services, medical procedures, methods of care, and procedures of alternative medicine is not allowed.
  • Advertising of pharmacies and their business activities is not allowed.
  • Dietary supplements cannot be attributed to the prevention or treatment of disease or imply such properties.
Brazil
  • All supplements, cosmetics, vitamins, homeopathic, and other health care products must be registered with the Federal Sanitation Agency (ANVISA). Approved advertisers must be in possession of all the required registrations and comply with all ANVISA and other applicable requirements.
  • We reserve the right to verify compliance with local requirements and exclude non-compliant advertisers from the program.
  • The advertisement must fairly represent the quality and purpose of the product, as registered and approved by the local regulatory authorities.
  • Advertisements for witchdoctors, magical potions and treatments, and miracle cures of any kind are disallowed.
Bulgaria
  • Advertising for healthcare establishments, institutions, and medical practitioners is prohibited. This includes alternative treatments.
  • Advertisers must comply with the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Act (MPHMA).
  • Advertising of OTC medication is allowed only after the material has been approved by the Bulgarian Drug Agency (BDA).
    • Ads must contain the number and date of the BDA decision for approval.
Canada
  • Online pharmacies (including pet pharmacies) that advertise prescription drugs to customers in Canada must be accredited by the National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) or LegitScript.
  • Manufacturers are not required to have certification to advertise, as long as they do not sell their prescription medicines online.
  • Ads that market to customers outside of Canada are not allowed.
  • For more information, please see the following websites:
Croatia
  • Advertising of OTC medications is allowed only with marketing authorization/approval for Croatia.
  • Advertising should contain a statement that the product should be kept out of the reach of small children.
  • Advertising of pharmacies or their activities is not allowed.
  • Advertising for healthcare professionals is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medical procedures is not allowed.
  • Supplements that contain plant substances should contain the Croatian and Latin name of the plant species and the Croatian name of the plant organ.
  • Advertising should contain the amount of nutrients or other substances with a physiological effect present in the amount recommended for daily use.
  • Medical supplies that are intended exclusively for the performance of healthcare activities may not be advertised to the general public.
Czech Republic
  • Vitamins or supplements must be clearly marked as “dietary supplements”.
  • Advertising for human tissue or cell donation with a financial reward or similar benefit is not allowed.
Denmark
  • Danish pharmacies website must comply with applicable requirements to advertise and sell OTC medication online.
Estonia
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only if the OTC has a valid marketing authorization in Estonia.
  • Advertising of services by health professionals including, but not limited to treatment, consultation, implementation of teaching and research, and similar activities is prohibited.
European Union
  • Advertising of Lipostabil is disallowed (applicable to all of Europe).
  • Advertising of products intended only for use or involvement by a medical practitioner is not allowed.
  • OTC substances defined as psychotropic or narcotic are not allowed.
  • Ads for OTC medication must contain:
    • Name of the product, as well as the common name if it contains only one active substance, or the trademark.
    • Information essential to the rational use of the product, including therapEutic indications and special precautions.
    • Advice for the user to read the secondary information and package leaflet carefully, and if there is any doubt or if symptoms persist, to consult the doctor or pharmacist.
    • Any additional warnings if applicable.
  • Ads cannot contain any element that:
    • Gives the impression the medicinal product is a foodstuff, cosmetic or other consumer product.
    • Suggests a diagnosis or recommend a treatment by correspondence leading to the conclusion that medical intervention is unnecessary.
    • Exaggerate the effects or suggest the effect of the product is guaranteed, without adverse reactions, with results superior or equal to those of another treatment or medical product or claim there is no risk of addiction.
    • Suggest the users normal state of health can be improved by the use of the product or be impaired by not using the product (vaccines may be allowed).
    • Suggest safety or efficacy of the product due to it being considered a natural product.
    • Demonstrate or guarantee a cure.
    • Contain a recommendation by a scientist, healthcare practitioner or third party who may encourage consumption of medicines due to their high profile.
  • Ads for food supplements may not include terms or otherwise refer to properties that attribute prophylactic properties or treatment or curing of human disease.
  • Ads for food supplements cannot state or imply that a balanced and varied diet is not a sufficient source of nutrients.
  • Any medical device must be covered by an appropriate CE mark before it can be advertised.
    • Users should not be misled about the device’s intended purpose, safety and performance.
  • Ads for medical devices must include the following:
    • Name of the device.
    • Purpose of the device.
    • Information essential to the correct use of the device.
    • Clearly visible indication of possible adverse effects.
Finland
  • Advertisers must comply with the marketing provisions of the Finnish Medicines Act to advertise and sell OTC medication.
France
  • Advertisers must be registered with the ANSM to advertise and sell OTC medication online.
    • Advertisers are expected to comply with the charter published by ANSM.
  • Advertising for prescription contact lenses must comply with the French Health Code.
Germany
  • Advertising medications for sale requires a license to sell the medication from the respective local German supervisory authority.
Greece
  • Advertising of services by health professionals including, but not limited to treatment or consultation is prohibited.
  • Advertising of beauty treatments and aesthetic centers cannot mention medical acts and should not include references such as “clinic-“, “medi-“, etc.
  • OTC medications and medical supplies are allowed only if they have been granted a valid marketing authorization in Greece.
    • Claims used in the advertisement must correspond to the summary of the medicine's technical characteristics.
    • The advertisement must promote the rational use of medicines and should not overstate the effect of the drug concerned.
    • The advertisement must feature a statutory minimum content (including the name of the medicine / active substance, instructions on the proper use of the medicine; an invitation to read the instructions);
    • The advertisement must not make any statements undermining the consultation of doctors, etc.
  • Advertising for pharmacies is not allowed, however, a pharmacy may advertise products and services not related to purely pharmaceutical services like cosmetics or dietary products for example.
  • Advertising for food supplements must include the reference number of notification of the specific food supplement to Greek National Organization for Medicines (EOF) and cannot contain therapeutic claims.
Hong Kong
  • All advertised pharmacies must be registered with the Drug Office of the Department of Health.
  • Advertisers must comply with the Undesirable Medical Advertising Ordinance.
  • Advertising related to specific diseases, conditions, and health claims is restricted.
  • Unregistered pharmaceutical products may not be advertised.
Hungary
  • Advertising of medicinal products, aids, or dietary supplements that require a prescription or are approved for social security subsidies is not allowed.
  • Products must be authorized to be marketed in Hungary.
  • Advertising for investigational medicinal products is not allowed.
  • Product cannot bear the same name as a prescription product or one that is subsidized.
  • Ads for medical products or aids should contain the following language “Please read the patient information leaflet on the risks and side effects or ask your doctor or pharmacist!”
  • Comparison advertising with other pharmacies or dissemination of information for raising awareness of pharmacies is not allowed.
  • Advertising for health professionals should comply with the Code of Medical Ethics.
Iceland
  • Advertisers for OTC medication must fulfill requirements stipulated in Act No. 100/202 on Medical Products and any subsequent legislation.
  • Ads for food supplements:
    • Cannot state or imply that a balanced and varied diet is not a sufficient source of nutrients or that the supplement should replace a varied diet.
    • Must state that the product is a “dietary supplement” and ingredients of the product must be visible.
    • Suggested daily intake must be visible and the ad must contain a warning that exceeding recommended intake may be harmful.
    • Should recommend that the product be stored where children do not see it or reach it.
  • Advertising for medical devices must fulfill marketing requirements such as labeling, user manuals, etc. set forth in Act No. 16/2001 on Medical Devices.
  • Advertising for healthcare professionals must comply will Art. 24 of the Act on Health Care Professionals and Act no. 57/2005. Advertisers must be licensed for the services they are advertising.
India
  • Microsoft requires advertisers targeting India who sell or facilitate the online sale of prescription-only medicines or prescription veterinary medicines to ensure they comply with all local laws.
  • Advertisers may not bid on keywords that relate to prescription-only medicines.
  • Ad copy must not promote the sale of prescription-only medicines.
  • Advertising for the treatment of diseases and miracle cures is restricted. Ads must not feature claims to prevent or cure common conditions or diseases or health ailments of humans and animals.
Indonesia
  • Advertising for over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics, non-prescription health care products, and traditional medicines is not permitted.
Ireland
  • Manufacturers are allowed to advertise, as long as they do not sell their prescription medicines online.
  • Advertisers may offer vitamins, minerals and food supplements to help maintain good health.
  • Advertisers must ensure that their advertising does not:
    • Discourage essential treatment of health problems.
    • Offer specific advice, diagnosis, or treatment for serious or prolonged conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease), unless given by a doctor or a qualified health professional.
    • Imply that vitamins, minerals or supplements can prevent or treat illness, elevate mood, or enhance performance.
    • Claim that a vitamin, mineral or any other food supplement is beneficial to health without substantiating the claim with scientific evidence displayed on the website.
    • Contradict the fact that a well-balanced diet should provide the vitamins and minerals needed by a normal healthy individual. Advertisers cannot encourage consumers to swap a healthy diet for supplementation.
    • Imply that there is widespread vitamin or mineral deficiency or that it is necessary to augment a well-balanced diet.
    • Describe products as safe or effective simply because they are "natural" or because the description omits an ingredient in common use.
    • Claim that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or legal herbal supplements are better than any other product or that using or avoiding a product will affect normal good health.
    • Offer homeopathic medicines that are not approved in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • Advertisers that offer invasive surgery must have relevant and recognized qualifications.
  • Advertisers for physically invasive treatments must encourage consumers to seek independent medical advice before committing themselves to the treatment.
Italy
  • Advertising for herbal remedies, herbal sleep aids, or herbal diet pills is restricted. It is the advertiser`s responsibility to comply with applicable regulations and best practices.
  • Pharmacies must be on the register by the Ministry of Health and obtain prior authorization from the Ministry of Health to advertise OTC medication if it will be sold online.
Latvia
  • Advertising for medicinal products that are recognized by the State Agency of Medicines as narcotic analgesics is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medical products that contain active substances with a high pharmacovigilance risk is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medicinal products that are fully, or party reimbursed through state funds is not allowed.
  • Advertising for products not registered in the Republic of Latvia and are not included in the Latvian Register of Medicinal Products or have not been registered in accordance with the centralized registration procedure of the European Medicines Agency and whose registration or re-registration is not valid, is not allowed.
  • Medicinal products cannot be advertised as a gift or as compensation.
  • Advertising for a medicinal product that is registered as a traditional herbal medicinal product, must include the statement "Traditional herbal medicinal product for the stated indications based solely on long-term results.”
  • Advertising for supplements is allowed only for supplements registered in the Register of Food Supplements.
    • Ads must contain the statement "Food supplement does not replace a complete and balanced diet", which must occupy at least 5% of the advertising space.
  • Audio visual advertisements for unauthorized medical treatments are not allowed. 
Lithuania
  • Advertising of unregistered medicinal products is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medicinal products that are subject to reimbursement is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medicinal products must contain the information and references prescribed by the Minister of Health.
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only for the registrant of the product and their representatives. Merchants may advertise these products only if they have a contract with the registrant to do so.
  • Advertising for homeopathic products may contain only information specified in the package leaflet and on the packaging. References prescribed by the Minister of Health must also be present.
  • Advertising for food supplements must bear the label “food supplement”.
  • Advertising for health care related products or services may not use a patient name or image or rely on recommendations of health care administrative institutions, health care professionals, or their professional organizations.
    • Advertisers may not use a patient’s name, surname, or image when advertising health care services or medical devices.
  • Advertising cannot promote behavior which poses a threat to health and security, or abuses superstitions or people’s trust and their lack of experience or knowledge.
Luxembourg
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only when the mediation has been authorized by the Ministry of Finance.
  • Advertising of services by health professionals including, but not limited to treatment or consultation is prohibited.
  • Advertising for products taken orally that are intended to modify the color of the skin is not allowed.
Macedonia
  • Advertising for medical products (including supplies and devices), is allowed only if the product has marketing authorization in North Macedonia.
    • Ads must not encourage unreasonable use and must be in accordance with instructions for use.
  • Advertising for medical products cannot:
    • Attribute features to a medical product that it lacks.
    • Exaggerate the properties of a product.
    • Exaggerate the positive effects of the product or the description of the effects of a product.
    • Compare a medication with another medication or mislead a consumer about the use of a medication.
    • Allege that the expenses for the product will be covered by the Health Insurance Fund, except in cases of epidemics.
    • Ads should not include the following:
      • Recommendations on the properties of the product that encourage use.
      • Famous persons to influence the use due to their popularity.
      • Indications on the price of the product.
      • Disease history or diagnostic procedures that may lead to misdiagnosis or self-diagnosis.
      • Inappropriate, disturbing, or misleading indications of changes to the body caused by illness or disease, or by a medical product.
      • Data or conclusions on the efficiency of the Medical Products which is still subject to clinical trial in North Macedonia or abroad.
    • Data on disease, diagnosis, or therapeutic procedures or product used in the treatment of particular persons.
    • Children using or intending to use the product.
    • Free samples may not be given to the general public, and the name of the pharmacy that sells the product or the wholesaler of the product must not be indicated in the ad.
  • Advertising for medical products should be made in accordance with the Guidebook on Advertising and must contain:
    • The name of the medical product.
    • The method of use and data needed for the proper use.
    • Visible, legible, and understandable warning to the user about carefully reading the user guide and consulting a doctor or pharmacist about the risk of adverse reactions.
      • The mandatory warning for carefully reading the user guide and consulting a doctor prior to usage must be an integral part of the landing page.
  • Ads for health care professionals and institutions should not use the advertisement for commercial purposes. Ads can contain the following:
    • Name and address.
    • Type of activity that can be performed.
    • Level of health care, activity, and specialty.
    • Training and qualifications of health professionals.
    • Working hours.
    • Actual waiting time, price of services, and the company’s logo.
Malaysia
  • Ads by health care practitioners are restricted to the name, field of practice, and place of practice of the practitioner.
  • Advertisements by private health care facilities are restricted to general information such as the name, location, contact information, working hours, types of facilities and charges imposed by the private health care facility.
  • Testimonials from patients are prohibited.
Montenegro
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only if the medication has a valid marketing authorization in Montenegro. Additionally, the ads must comply with the following:
    • Information about the medication must be given in accordance with the approved summary of product characteristics.
    • Advertising must be objective and not mislead the professional or general public.
    • Advertising cannot directly address children even if the medication is intended for their treatment.
  • Advertising for medical devices issued at the expense of health insurance funds is not allowed.
  • Advertising for medical devices is allowed only if the device is registered in Montenegro.
  • Advertising for medical devices cannot advertise the device in an inappropriate or sensational way about the success in treatment or in a way that may lead to self-medication.
  • Health care professionals and pharmacies may advertise their name, business activity, address, phone number, and working hours only.
  • Medical activities and procedures cannot be advertised.
Netherlands
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed if the medication has already been granted marketing authorization.
New Zealand
  • Products may not claim to cure, treat, or prevent disease unless they are registered as medicines with the appropriate organization in the market where they are promoted.
Norway
  • Advertising that includes prices and discounts which may promote random purchases of medication are not permitted, such as "2 for 1" for example.
  • Reminder advertising such as "you have something in your cart" is not allowed.
Philippines
  • Advertising for non-prescription medicine must comply with applicable regulations, including proper marketing authorization issued for the non-prescription medicine advertised, and valid license to operate held by the drug company.
  • Medical professionals may not promote, advertise or endorse any medication.
  • A disclaimer of “No Approved Therapeutic Claim” must appear on the advertisements for food and dietary supplements.
Poland
  • Advertising of services by health professionals including, but not limited to treatment, consultation, implementation of teaching and research, and similar activities is prohibited.
  • Advertising of pharmacies or their activities is not allowed. Advertising of shops related to the sale of pharmaceutical products or medical devices are also disallowed.
  • The following criteria for OTC medication advertising must be followed:
    • Cannot contain psychotropic or narcotic substances.
    • Name cannot be identical to prescription products entered onto official lists of products reimbursed from public funds.
    • Must be authorized to be sold in Poland.
Portugal
  • Advertising for medical products, supplies, or treatments that can only be obtained through a prescription is not allowed.
    • Oseltamivir, a medicine used for colds and flu which is subject to medical prescription, may be advertised.
  • Pharmacies cannot advertise or mention brands or medicines, products, or services other than those expressly regulated.
  • OTC medications may be advertised as long as they are not comparticipated by the National Healthcare System.
  • Medical advertising should be informative of the conditions of care for the public and professional qualifications of the doctor.
    • Ads cannot guarantee results, encourage false consumption needs, or be otherwise misleading.
  • Advertising for psychologists should be limited to activity in an objective sense, avoiding any subjective content in the ad.
  • Comparative advertising for mediations is not allowed.
  • Ads cannot contain any element that:
    • Is intended for children.
    • Refer to a recommendation of a person who, by their celebrity, may incite consumption of the product.
    • May induce, by description or representation, a false self-diagnosis.
    • Use frightening or misleading visual representations of changes in the human body caused by disease or injury, or of the action of a medication on the body.
  • Direct distribution of medication for promotion purposes is prohibited (cannot give, or promise, directly or indirectly to the general public, prizes, offers, bonusses or benefits in cash or in kind).
  • For homeopathic products, only information concerning those subject to simplified registration may be used in advertising:
    • Scientific name, degree of dilution
    • Name and address of the holder of the simplified registration and in some cases the manufacturer
    • Method of administration, and if needed, route of administration.
    • Explicit expiry date, including month and year, written in indelible form
    • Pharmaceutical form
    • Presentation
    • Specific storage precautions
    • Special warnings
    • Manufacturing batch number, registration number of the marketing authorization
    • The words “without therapeutic indications”
    • Warning advising the user to consult a doctor
Romania
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only if the mediation has been approved by the Romanian National Agency for Medicine and Medical Devices.
  • Advertising for medication issued within the national health insurance system is not allowed.
  • Advertising for OTC medication must:
    • Be exact, balance, equitable, objective, and complete, allowing consumers to form their own opinion with respect to the therapeutic value of the medication.
    • Be based on updated evaluation of the medicine in question.
    • Not suggest that a medicine or active ingredient has any merit, quality, or special property where this cannot be scientifically documented or proven.
  • Advertising for supplements is allowed only if the supplement and promotional material content has been approved by the Romanian National Agency for Medicine and Medical Devices.
  • Advertising of medication by pharmacies may present only commercial catalogues and price lists.
  • Advertising by medical professionals that is purely promotional or intended for publicity is not allowed. Ads cannot be used for the purpose of acquiring clients.
  • Advertising for psychologists may engage in publicity only on the basis of their own accomplishments and must avoid promoting any unreal or exaggerated accomplishments.
Serbia
  • Advertising by mental health care professionals including direct or indirect publicity that is not protective or educational in nature is disallowed.
  • Advertising related to the following is not allowed:
    • Life threatening medical conditions.
    • Sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Diabetes or other metabolic diseases.
    • Additionally, medicine for the following cannot be advertised.
      • Medicine issued at the expense of health insurance funds.
      • Tuberculosis medicine.
      • Medicine for infectious diseases.
      • Medicine for chronic insomnia.
  • Ads for OTC medication should include the information contained in the summary of the OTC product’s characteristics. The ad must be objective, not misleading in any manner, and must not misuse trust, relationship of dependence, credulity, inexperience or ignorance or superstition of consumers.
  • Ads must contain information related to:
    • The name of the medicine or name of the device, in accordance with the law.
    • Means of use and data needed for the proper use of the medication or device.
    • A visible, legible and comprehensibly written, drawn, or spoken warning to the users to read the instructions for use of the device and to consult a medical professional about possible risk, as well as information about adverse reactions to the medicine or device.
  • Ads for medicines or devices cannot give the impression that a particular product is better than another or indicate that the recommended medicine or device may be replaced by another product.
  • Ads for medical products cannot give the impression that:
    • The product has no adverse side effects.
    • It isn’t necessary to consult a doctor before use.
    • Use of the product will allow a consumer to avoid medical examination, advice, or surgery.
    • Use of the product guarantees success in the treatment of disease.
    • The product is the best or better than other products.
    • The product will improve health.
    • Health will be damaged by not using the product.
      • Exception exists for campaigns conducted by the Ministry of Health such as prevention of epidemics.
    • The product is food, cosmetics, or other product of general use.
    • The product is harmless and effective due to the natural origin.
  • Comparative advertising of pharmacies or pharma activity is not allowed.
  • Ads cannot contain any indication of gifts or discounts which are in opposition to the dignity and reputation of the pharmaceutical profession and Ethical Code of Pharmacists of Serbia.
  • Ads cannot encourage patients to purchase medicines or devices by virtue of rewarding the patient or other strategies that may cause unnecessary or irrational use of medicine or medical devices.
  • Ads for medications should not list the name of the pharmacy, private practice, specialist store, or business name of an entity that carries out wholesale trade in which the product can be purchased.
Singapore
  • Ads may not promote treatments or cures for diseases.
  • Advertising for traditional and alternative medications is prohibited.
Slovakia
  • Advertising for medical products that are not registered in the Slovak Republic is not allowed.
  • Advertising for OTC medication that is covered by public health insurance is not allowed.
Slovenia
  • Advertising for OTC medication is allowed only if the product has marketing authorization in Slovenia.
  • Advertising for medical devices is allowed only for those that comply with the Medical Devices Act.
  • Audiovisual advertising for healthcare services, activity, or providers is not allowed.
  • Pharmacies may advertise only informational content such as their name, address, logo, hours, health education, or content that is scientific in nature.
South Africa
  • Advertising for medication containing substances in Schedules 2-6  of the Medicines Act are not allowed.
  • Advertising for medical devices classified as Class C or D in the Medicines Act is not allowed.
    • Advertising for medical devices classified as Class A or B  of the Medicines Act may require proof the device is registered and classified as Class A or B.
  • Health professionals must register with and comply with obligations imposed by the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, and cannot tout or canvas their services.
  • Surrogates cannot be paid for acting as a surrogate, only compensation for medical expenses, lost income and insurance is allowed. Ads related to these services must comply with these restrictions.
Spain
  • Advertisers that offer invasive cosmetic surgery must have proper authorization.
Sweden
  • Advertising for OTC medication must be carried out in accordance with fair trade and good marketing practices.
Switzerland
  • Advertising can only include information in accordance with the drug information last approved by Swissmedic.
Thailand
  • Ads for non-prescription medications must comply with applicable regulations, including displaying the approval number for the medicine on the website.
Turkey
  • Advertising for any medication is not allowed.
  • Advertising by pharmacies is not allowed, even if the product advertised is not medical in nature.
  • Advertising for medical devices is disallowed with the exception of Annex-3 items (toothpaste, tooth prothesis care products, condoms, patient diapers, incontinence pads, warm/cold compress, band-aid or fixation tape, cotton, mouthwash, nasal bands that improve breathing).
  • Advertisers must have approval in Turkey for food supplements prior to advertising.
    • Comparative advertising for food supplements is not allowed.
  • Advertising of services by health professionals including, but not limited to treatment or consultation is prohibited.
  • Names of the Ministry of Health and subsidiaries and names of the health institute, establishment or persons that participated in the research of the device cannot be used in the advertising without permission.
  • Image restrictions:
    • Expressions and images related to the physical environment of the doctor's office and other health institutions and organizations and medical devices or equipment cannot be used.
    • Images of healthcare professionals with patients and their relatives before, during and after treatment cannot be included.
    • Before and after treatment photos of patients cannot be used.
United Kingdom
  • Online pharmacies must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. For more information, please see the website for the General Pharmaceutical Council.
  • Ad copy must not promote the sale of prescription only medicines.
  • Providers of prescription eyeglasses must be registered with the General Optical Council.
  • Advertisements for veterinary online pharmacies are allowed if they are registered with any of the following:
    • The General Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
    • The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
    • The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland
    • The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    • The Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA)
    • The Veterinary Medicines Directorate
  • Advertisers may offer vitamins, minerals and food supplements to help maintain good health. Advertisers must ensure that their advertising does not:
    • Discourage essential treatment of health problems.
    • Offer specific advice, diagnosis, or treatment for serious or prolonged conditions (such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease), unless given by a doctor or a qualified health professional.
    • Imply that vitamins, minerals or supplements can prevent or treat illness, elevate mood, or enhance performance.
    • Claim that a vitamin, mineral or any other food supplement is beneficial to health without substantiating the claim with scientific evidence displayed on the website.
    • Contradict the fact that a well-balanced diet should provide the vitamins and minerals needed by a normal healthy individual. Advertisers cannot encourage consumers to swap a healthy diet for supplementation.
    • Imply that there is widespread vitamin or mineral deficiency or that it is necessary to augment a well-balanced diet.
    • Describe products as safe or effective simply because they are "natural" or because the description omits an ingredient in common use.
    • Claim that over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or legal herbal supplements are better than any other product or that using or avoiding a product will affect normal good health.
    • Offer homeopathic medicines that are not approved in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • Advertisers that offer invasive surgery must have relevant and recognized qualifications.
  • Advertisers for physically invasive treatments must encourage consumers to seek independent medical advice before committing themselves to the treatment.
United States
  • Online pharmacies, including pet pharmacies, that advertise prescription drugs to customers in the United States must be accredited by the National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) or LegitScript.
  • Manufacturers are not required to have certification to advertise, as long as they do not sell their prescription medicines online.
  • Ads that market to customers outside the U.S. and U.S. territories are not allowed.
 
For more information, please see the following websites:

NATIVE NATIVE

  • All prescription medication ads are prohibited.
  • All supplement and vitamin ads are prohibited.
  • Ads related to sensitive health conditions are not allowed.
  • Ads for health issues related to most body parts or functions, including genital, bowel, or urinary functions, are not allowed.
  • Ads and landing pages related to fungus, blisters, or burns on any body part are not allowed.
  • Sexual enhancements including testosterone boosters are not allowed.
  • Prophylactics including, but not limited to condoms and lubrication are not allowed.
  • Medical procedures or treatments including those for cosmetic purposes are generally not allowed.

AUDIENCE AUDIENCE

  • All prescription medication ads are prohibited.
  • All supplement and vitamin ads are prohibited.
  • Ads related to sensitive health conditions are not allowed.
  • Ads for health issues related to most body parts or functions, including genital, bowel, or urinary functions, are not allowed.
  • Ads and landing pages related to fungus, blisters, or burns on any body part are not allowed.
  • Sexual enhancements including testosterone boosters are not allowed.
  • Prophylactics including, but not limited to condoms and lubrication are not allowed.
  • Medical procedures or treatments including those for cosmetic purposes are generally not allowed.

DISPLAY DISPLAY

  • Specific targeting required:
    • As a general practice, all pharmaceutical ads should be targeted to the applicable audience with the following additional restrictions required:
      • Anti-depressants: 18+
      • Female contraceptives: Women 18+
      • Erectile dysfunction:
        • Outlook and MSN: Men 35+
  • Prescription drugs/manufacturers:
    • Allowed with the following restrictions:
    • Fair Balance animation can animate as required by the FDA as long as it is stand-alone from the "static panel" promotional animation (limited to 15 seconds). Fair balance animation that may follow the promotional animation should not extend or otherwise intermingle with the 15 second static panel but can run until fair balance information is presented.
    • Non-branded pharmaceutical advertising is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to:
      • Non-branded Pharmaceutical advertisers who are promoting informational data about a product or drug.
      • Non-branded Pharmaceutical advertisers who mention the drug brand name but do not mention the disease or condition (brand building "reminder" ads).

XBOX XBOX

  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED) ads are prohibited.

Drug and alcohol addiction recovery

United States
Advertisers who advertise drug or alcohol addiction services such as rehab facilities, group therapy, sober living facilities, halfway houses or other similar offerings must be certified by LegitScript*.
  • Landing pages and any URLs utilized in the ad must be certified.
  • Lead generation ads are not allowed.
*For information on becoming certified, please visit LegitScript's website.

NATIVE NATIVE

  • Ads for addiction recovery are prohibited.

AUDIENCE AUDIENCE

  • Ads for addiction recovery are prohibited.

Family Planning

In some markets, regulatory restrictions exist for certain types of family planning products and services.

Product or service
Market Disallowed
Abortion
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam
Surrogacy
Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Venezuela
Egg and sperm donation
France, Iceland, Slovenia
Paternity test
France, India
Pregnancy test
France
Prenatal sex determination
India: As required per PC-PNDT Act and the order of the Supreme Court of India dated 28th February 2015 (download the court ruling).
Morning after pills
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Venezuela

DISPLAY DISPLAY

Any advertising about or related to abortion is strictly prohibited.

NATIVE NATIVE

Any advertising about or related to abortion is strictly prohibited.

AUDIENCE AUDIENCE

Any advertising about or related to abortion is strictly prohibited.

Infant feeding

Brazil
  • Advertising that promotes the sale or use of formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind is not allowed.
European Union
  • Advertising for infant formula and follow-on formula is not allowed.
India
  • Advertising that promotes the sale or use of formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind is not allowed.
Macedonia
  • Advertising for infant formula is not allowed.
Serbia
  • Advertising for milk or other food products for infants up to six months old, as well as kits for their use is not allowed.
South Africa
  • Advertising promoting the use or benefit of breast milk substitutes is not allowed. Ads may state only availability and price.
  • Advertising for feeding bottles and rubber nipples cannot be prejudicial to breastfeeding. Ads must emphasize the necessity of cleansing bottles and nipples.
Vietnam
  • Advertising that promotes the sale or use of formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind is not allowed.

Weight-Loss Products and Services

  • Advertising for weight control cannot be aimed at children.
  • Advertising must not claim that a user will lose weight without changing any of their habits.
  • Claims of results must be realistic and obtainable.
  • Nutritional allegations must be truthful and proven.
  • Diet plans must be nutritionally well-balanced.
  • Advertising for weight loss medications and other products that are listed as prescription medicines must comply with the editorial policy for prescription-only medicines.
  • Intensive exercise programs must encourage users to consult a doctor before starting.
  • Websites must not suggest that it is desirable to be underweight or that stopping eating is a recommended method to lose weight.
  • Diet aids content must not suggest that consumers cannot fail or that they can eat as much as they like and still lose weight.
  • Advertising for weight-loss products cannot refer to the rate or amount of weight loss.
  • Ads for diet replacement for weight control must provide information on the appropriate use and must not be misleading or attribute prophylactic properties, treatment, or curing of human disease.
  • Advertising for weight management, weight loss, measurement reduction and related content must be made in conjunction with reference to sensible lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
  • Ads must disclose that weight loss is achieved as part of healthy reduced-calorie diet and exercise program.
  • “Before and after” representations cannot be misleading or altered to project unrealistic results. 
  • Weight loss ads containing testimonials must be accompanied by a testimonial affidavit from each featured consumer. If a specific amount of weight loss is mentioned, the affidavit must include the amount of weight loss and the length of time it took to achieve the loss.

Country Restrictions

Bulgaria
  • Weight loss programs must not be advertised as or represent non-conventional treatments.
Croatia
  • Advertising for weight loss products and services is not allowed.
European Union
  • Advertising for weight loss products cannot refer to the rate or amount of weight loss.
  • Ads for diet replacement for weight control must provide information on the appropriate use and must not be misleading or attribute prophylactic properties, treatment, or curing of human disease.
Ireland
  • Weight reduction methods must be backed by rigorous trials on people.
Macedonia
  • Advertising for weight loss products cannot refer to the rate or amount of weight loss.
  • Ads for diet replacement for weight control must provide information on the appropriate use and must not be misleading or attribute prophylactic properties, treatment, or curing of human disease.
Serbia
  • Ads for weight loss products and services cannot reference the rate of weight loss or the average mass that can be lost as a result of the use of the product or service.
Slovenia
  • Advertising weight loss should not offer treatments for medical conditions that require medical treatment, such as obesity, anorexia, and bulimia.
South Africa
  • Advertising for weight management, weight loss, measurement reduction and related content must be made in conjunction with reference to sensible lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
Spain
  • Weight reduction methods must be backed by rigorous trials on people.
United Kingdom
  • Weight reduction methods must be backed by rigorous trials on people.

DISPLAY DISPLAY

  • All weight loss claims must be supported by valid and reliable scientific evidence. Studies must provide strong evidence that the advertised product, as part of a diet and exercise program, resulted in weight loss above and beyond weight loss caused by diet and exercise alone. Study subjects should be representative of the targeted audience.

NATIVE NATIVE

  • All weight loss claims must be supported by valid and reliable scientific evidence. Studies must provide strong evidence that the advertised product, as part of a diet and exercise program, resulted in weight loss above and beyond weight loss caused by diet and exercise alone. Study subjects should be representative of the targeted audience.

Personal Care Products

DISPLAY DISPLAY

  • All personal hygiene products must be gender and age targeted with stringent standards of taste required. Graphic messaging, images, audio or video depictions of products, their use, or references to specific areas of the anatomy are not acceptable.
  • Targeted to 18+: Applies to the following products and services of a personal nature including, but not limited to, douche products, intimate feminine deodorants, pregnancy tests, undergarments, and other products that require sensitivity in presentation.
  • Prophylactics, contraceptives, personal lubricants, and sexual aides/toys are prohibited.
  • Sexual enhancers: testosterone boosters, sexual enhancers, including but not limited to, increasing sex drive or endurance are prohibited.

NATIVE NATIVE

  • All personal hygiene products must be gender and age targeted with stringent standards of taste required. Graphic messaging, images, audio or video depictions of products, their use, or references to specific areas of the anatomy are not acceptable.
  • Targeted to 18+: Applies to the following products and services of a personal nature including, but not limited to, douche products, intimate feminine deodorants, pregnancy tests, undergarments, and other products that require sensitivity in presentation.
  • Prophylactics, contraceptives, personal lubricants, and sexual aides/toys are prohibited.
  • Sexual enhancers: testosterone boosters, sexual enhancers, including but not limited to, increasing sex drive or endurance are prohibited.

AUDIENCE AUDIENCE

  • All personal hygiene products must be gender and age targeted with stringent standards of taste required. Graphic messaging, images, audio or video depictions of products, their use, or references to specific areas of the anatomy are not acceptable.
  • Targeted to 18+: Applies to the following products and services of a personal nature including, but not limited to, douche products, intimate feminine deodorants, pregnancy tests, undergarments, and other products that require sensitivity in presentation.
  • Prophylactics, contraceptives, personal lubricants, and sexual aides/toys are prohibited.
  • Sexual enhancers: testosterone boosters, sexual enhancers, including but not limited to, increasing sex drive or endurance are prohibited.

XBOX XBOX

  • Sensitive personal hygiene products like those listed above are not allowed.