Clear Ads launches Therapeutic Goods Review Service ahead of changes to the industry’s advertising regulations

Clear Ads, the advertising compliance service under Free TV, is introducing a Therapeutic Goods Review Service ahead of changes to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC) coming into effect on July 1.

Starting in July, mandatory approval of advertising for therapeutic goods by an appointed government body will be no longer required, and responsibility for compliance to the TGAC falls to the advertiser. The updated TGAC will also be more prescriptive for advertisers.

Clear Ads’ service comes in light of the deregulation of advertising for therapeutic goods

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has been appointed as the sole body to handle complaints against ads for therapeutic goods, and a higher penalty will be introduced for non-compliance.

All ads for therapeutic goods directed to consumers must comply with the TGAC. Therapeutic goods are broadly defined as products for use in humans in connection with preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury; influencing inhibiting or modifying a physiological process; testing the susceptibility of persons to a disease or ailment; influencing, controlling or preventing conception; and testing for pregnancy.

Alison Lee, director of Clear Ads, said the new service was the natural extension to its existing offering.

“Through our already established expertise and systems we can accelerate the process by providing a one-stop shop for all advertiser’s compliance needs,” Lee said.

“Non-compliant advertising risk large fines and sanctions for advertisers, media agencies and publishers. Clear Ads’ new Therapeutic Review Service (TGS) helps advertisers navigate the complexity of the TGA requirements for all medicines and all media.

“Our new service offers great value with a competitive fee schedule and proven systems which can assist advertisers with compliance across an entire campaign.”

Clear Ads’ compliance service is backed by its membership in the newly established Therapeutic Goods Consultative Committee, which will provide input into policies behind the TGAC and provide a forum for engagement regarding issues with the code.

Under the new rules which make the TGAC applicable to digital advertising including social media, Clear Ads’ service will be available to all advertising platforms.

Consistent with Clear Ads’ other services, the Therapeutic Goods Review Service will have two-day standard service, a one-day Priority service or a three-hour Red Hot service for revisions. TGAC compliance checks will happen simultaneously with all other compliance requirements for advertising.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TGA introduced new rules regarding advertisers’ claims about products having an effect against the virus. Claims that a disinfectant has an effect against any virus, for example, must be expressly permitted by the TGA before being used in consumer advertising, including on its packaging.


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