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What You Can (and Can’t) Advertise as a Medical Spa in Illinois

When it comes to advertising professional services, medical spas in Illinois have a lot of strict guidelines to follow. Like any other business, medical spas do have the right to advertise in the public media, as well as anywhere on their premises. The problem is that the industry is heavily regulated, including what they can and what they can’t include in their advertising.

What You Can Advertise

When you advertise your medical spa in the state, you are free to include all the following information.

  1. You can provide basic business details:
    1. Your spa’s name
    2. Office hours
    3. Address
    4. Contact information (phone number and email address)
  2. You can add specialization details to your ads, such as relevant board certifications and any limits to the practice.
  3. You may include details about services and applicable fees for routine services your spa offers. Include a notice that fees may change based on complications or any unexpected circumstances that arise during the execution of services.
  4. You may announce a grand opening, changes to hours, temporary closings, and restoration of full services.
  5. You may include changes to your staffs’ professional licensing.
  6. You may have both business cards and appointment cards produced for distribution.

What You Cannot Advertise

When you are establishing your advertisement, Illinois does not allow you to include the following information.

  1. You cannot compare your fees to other medical spas or licensed professionals, nor can you claim to be superior to your competitors.
  2. You cannot advertise services for which you do not have a license to perform.
  3. You cannot guarantee that your services will be successful or advertise results that are deceptive or fraudulent.
  4. You cannot prey on the fears of the public to give yourself an advantage.

Working Within the Regulations

Most of this sounds straightforward, but it can be more challenging when you start trying to advertise your business. Here’s a simpler breakdown that you can use as a checklist for your advertising campaigns.

Advertising Price

The trickiest aspect of advertising for a medical spa is the pricing. As mentioned, you can include the typical fees, including a disclaimer of any circumstances that could increase those fees, such as complications.

Do not include any fee costs or pricing that are misleading. If the costs could be higher than advertised, you must include those details about the costs.

Do not include competitor prices or fee comparisons for the same services. You can only include your own service fees.

Managing Testimonials and Endorsement

Until recently testimonials were banned, but because of concerns about the Constitutionality of the ban, the prohibition was lifted. However, using testimonials is strictly regulated, and you can expect scrutiny if you add them. To ensure that your advertisement complies with Illinois law, here is a quick list of what you need to do or what you should not do.

  1. Identify any person included in pictures if actors or models are used. In other words, if you use actors or models for your ads, you must identify that they are actors or models. You should not be using non-clients to give false expectations or unjustified potential results for your services or procedures.
  2. Do not include anything that is deceptive or fraudulent, including fake testimonials.
  3. Do not make any guarantees about the end results.
  4. Include any applicable disclaimers about the credentials of anyone who provides a testimonial.
  5. Get consent and authorization from your patients before you advertise any of their testimonials or endorsements.

Advertising Using the Physicians Name

Illinois requires that physicians are identified by name and title (or official abbreviations for the title) be included in all advertisements.

We Can Help

If you have questions about your license or need help with regulatory issues, then we invite you to call 1818 – An Advocacy Group to help you with your efforts.  We are experienced attorneys who are ready to help you protect the value of your business.  Call us today at (312) 968-9600 or fill out our online contact form.  Remember, 1818 knows government.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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