At the beginning of 2023, new regulations governing the advertising of clinics and facilities offering services related to aesthetic medicine were introduced in Poland. This change significantly limited the possibilities of promoting this industry online. Fortunately, there are still effective ways to advertise totally legally. What are they? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- Promotion of aesthetic medicine – current legal regulations
- Legal and proven methods of promotion
- Own website
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Public relations
Promotion of aesthetic medicine in Poland – current legal regulations
Let’s start with a definition. It’s worth knowing that there is no binding definition of aesthetic medicine in Polish law. However, based on applicable European standards, aesthetic medicine comprises a set of non-surgical services provided to improve the appearance of clients.
In January 2023, the promotion of aesthetic medicine procedures was heavily restricted in Poland. Advertising medical devices intended for use exclusively by professionals is completely prohibited. This applies to both products classified as medical devices and the equipment itself. Clinics and brands associated with aesthetic medicine cannot advertise procedures involving anything classified as a medical device.
This prohibition includes, among other things: lasers (for hair removal, scar or tattoo removal), devices using ultrasound, equipment for carboxytherapy, products for skin application (such as chemical peels), products for mesotherapy or injectable lipolysis, fillers (including hyaluronic acid), milling machines, lamps, pigments for permanent makeup, and implants.
The 2023 changes also banned the use of images of doctors in advertisements. It is also not possible to circumvent the regulations by using the support of Polish influencers. The ban applies not only to the Internet (including search engine ads, social media, and portals) but also to traditional media, including television, radio, and print.
It’s important to note that the law does not completely prohibit the use of paid advertising, such as on social media. However, it significantly restricts the content that can appear in such advertising. Publicly targeted advertising must be formulated in a way that is understandable to laypersons and must not mislead the audience.
Legal and proven methods of online promotion
Do owners of aesthetic medicine clinics in Poland have their hands tied? Not necessarily. There are still legal ways to reach Polish clients—bypassing the promotion of prohibited medical devices.
Having a well-optimised, intuitively navigable, and clear website has never been more critical. Current regulations do not prevent clinics from presenting their services on their websites. Therefore, it’s essential to provide comprehensive descriptions of offered procedures and implement an SEO strategy to increase the site’s visibility in search engines. This allows the brand to organically expand its reach without resorting to paid advertising.
Polish regulations also do not prohibit the publication of informative or scientific texts. Informative videos featuring specialists working in aesthetic medicine clinics or a company blog with educational articles can significantly increase interest in the brand and build a professional image without breaking the law. Although these tools may not work as quickly as traditional advertising, they have a positive long-term impact on SEO and reaching new potential clinic clients.
Contrary to appearances, operating on social media or collaborating with influencers is not entirely prohibited. Social media can still be a crucial communication tool with clients. However, a well-thought-out social media strategy for the aesthetic medicine industry in Poland should limit itself to neutral messages that do not have an advertising character. It is not permissible to encourage recipients to use services, praise procedures, or use names and images of products intended for specialised aesthetic medicine treatments.
It’s important to note that you can still advertise procedures that do not involve the use of medical devices. However, in the event of a potential inspection, you should be able to demonstrate (e.g., through a product card or information from the manufacturer) that a particular device or product is not a medical device.
Running a newsletter or other forms of email marketing is not only legal but also very effective. Research conducted in the Polish market shows that the average reach of organic posts on Facebook is 2-6%, while the average open rate for email campaign is as high as 16.57%. Of course, emails cannot use any prohibited promotional methods, but information-oriented or relationship-building mailings are entirely allowed.
When conducting promotional activities for an aesthetic medicine clinic, considerable time and effort should be devoted to building relationships with journalists. A well-thought-out media relations strategy can provide a significant competitive advantage. Polish beauty industry journalists often seek comments directly from experts. If strong relationships are established with them, they will likely approach your clinic for such comments.
Starting with press releases, informative texts that can include expert comments (devoid of sales elements), is a good strategy. Speaking on important events in the beauty sector, innovations, ingredients, or the latest research is a fantastic—and legal!—way to attract clients to the clinic who want to be in the hands of real specialists. Guest appearances on blogs, YouTube videos, or coverage of industry events are additional effective ways to increase brand awareness.
Anticipated fines for non-compliance with regulations can reach up to 2 million PLN. Therefore, if you plan to promote aesthetic medicine in the Polish market, understanding the applicable legal regulations and acting in accordance with them is your obligation. We can help you with this! As an experienced Polish advertising agency, we support brands in the aesthetic medicine industry in building effective and totally legal marketing strategies. Contact our experts!