DBA warns on ads

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The Dental Board of Australia (DBA) has shot a warning across the bow of any dental practice advertising services (such as whitening) that make reference to a person improving their physical appearance. In a communiqué released this week, a copy of which is available online here, the DBA reinforced what it believed was not acceptable in advertising.

The Board said in the release, “For many dental practitioners in a number of jurisdictions, both the legal framework and the standards expected by the Board are different to those previously in place before July 2010. As a result, for the first year of the National Scheme the Board (and all National Boards) has taken a largely educative approach to matters related to advertising, by helping dental practitioners understand the law and the new requirements set down in the Board’s Advertising Guidelines.

“However the Board expects dental practitioners to ensure that their advertising complies with the Board’s guidelines. The Board particularly highlights section 5(b) of the Guidelines which states that advertising of services must not encourage unnecessary use of health services; for example references to a person improving their physical appearance. The Board considers the use of such services and claims as unacceptable advertising. “

The release also promised that next year the Board will adopt a more structured approach to addressing concerns about advertising, including an escalating series of warnings to the dental practitioner, initially reminding them of their obligations about advertising and ultimately, possible prosecution for non-compliance with the National Law and the Board’s guidelines. If the Board deems that a dental practitioner’s failure to comply with a Board’s request warrants it, matters related to advertising can also be progressed through the conduct and performance pathways of the National Law.

 

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