Cosmetic procedure adverts are to be banned from targeting under-18s from May next year, the regulator has announced.
Advertisements for procedures such as injectable treatments, breast augmentation or reduction, "tummy tucks", chemical peels or teeth whitening will no longer be allowed to be shown around television programmes likely to appeal to under-18s or in other media that is aimed directly at under-18s.
It follows a consultation in response to concerns about the potential harm of advertising cosmetic interventions to children and young people, such as body image pressures and mental health issues, as well as the risks and potential complications of the procedures.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) said evidence contributed to an “ever clearer picture” that children and young people are vulnerable to body image pressures, and that negative body image perceptions were prevalent among those groups, which could have an impact on their self-esteem, wellbeing and mental health.
CAP director Shahriar Coupal said: “Because of the inherent risks of cosmetic intervention procedures, and the potential appeal of these services to young people struggling with body confidence issues, it’s important we set the bar necessarily high in terms of marketing.
“The new rules will ensure ads can’t be targeted at under-18s and, where children and young people do see them, our strict content rules mean the ads can’t mislead or otherwise exploit the vulnerabilities of their audience.”
Videos showing plastic surgery are appearing on the For You page of children as young as 14, which mental health experts say is "deeply problematic".
Children are already banned from getting botox or fillers under new legislation brought in this year.
The 'Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act' has made it illegal to provide either procedure to under-18s for cosmetic reasons.
Speaking in May Sevenoaks MP Laura Trott, who introduced the Bill, said "no child needs cosmetic botox or fillers.
"I am thrilled we have been able to change the law to ensure children are now protected."