The use of Testimonials in Advertising

The use of Testimonials in Advertising

In accordance with Section 6.2 of the Medical Board of Australia Guidelines for advertising regulated health services, We have removed all direct testimonials from our website.

Section 6.2

Prohibited advertising under the National Law

Section 133 of the National Law prohibits advertising that:

  • is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be so
  • offers a gift, discount or other inducement to attract a user of the health service without stating the terms and conditions of the offer
  • uses testimonials or purported testimonials
  • creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and/or
  • encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services.

Therefore no articles included in this site are intended for use as testimonial. We have used video including patients to show before and after treatment results. This is only intended for training purposes, as the equipment used is now used in Australia and the US. All future articles included in our website will be technique and training based. Not Client testimonial. If you find any article that you believe breeches this law, please notify our Marrickville office and it will be immediately removed.

The Definition of Testimonial covered in the law is below.

6.2.3 Testimonials

Section 133 of the National Law states:

A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that –
Uses testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business

The National Law does not define ‘testimonial’, so the word has its ordinary meaning of a positive statement about a person or thing. In the context of the National Law, a testimonial includes recommendations, or statements about the clinical aspects of a regulated health service.

The National Law ban on using testimonials means it is not acceptable to use testimonials in your own advertising, such as on your Facebook page, in a print, radio or television advertisement, or on your website. This means that::

you cannot use or quote testimonials on a site or in social media that is advertising a regulated health service, including patients posting comments about a practitioner on the practitioner’s business website, and
you cannot use testimonials in advertising a regulated health service to promote a practitioner or service.

Health practitioners should therefore not encourage patients to leave testimonials on websites health practitioners control that advertise their own regulated health services, and should remove any testimonials that are posted there.

The National Law does not directly regulate social media. However, testimonials used in advertising a regulated health service through social media may contravene the National Law.

There are many opportunities for consumers or patients to express their views online that are not affected by the National Law restriction on testimonials in advertising. Patients can share views through their personal social media such as Facebook or Twitter accounts or on information sharing websites or other online mechanisms that do not involve using testimonials in advertising a regulated health service.

For example, consumer and patient information sharing websites that invite public feedback/reviews about experience of a regulated health practitioner, business and/or service are generally intended to help consumers make more informed decisions and are not considered advertising of a regulated health service.

To clarify, practitioners are not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a website or in social media over which they do not have control.

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