Advertising for nonprescription drugs is acceptable, provided that it complies with these Policies and applicable regulations or guidance issued by the FDA and FTC. Advertisers may be required to submit third-party substantiation concerning such compliance.
Nonprescription drug advertising should provide factual information about such products, avoid overstatements of their capabilities and advise consumers to read and follow label directions. It is recommended that advertisers include a link to a site that lists the full range of health benefits, risks and other relevant information concerning use of the nonprescription drug.
Advertising for nonprescription drugs is not acceptable in AOL Kids or other areas directed to kids. Nonprescription drug advertising in Cambio or areas directed to teens, may be acceptable and must be approved by the Ad Policy team.
- Advertising should be confined to those symptoms and conditions for which the product is indicated. Advertising may not claim or imply that the product can be used for off-label uses. Representations which overstate a product’s effects are unacceptable.
- Depictions of before-and-after product use situations should indicate an adequate and accurate time lapse if the product does not provide immediate relief.
- Advertising should not portray a casual attitude toward the use of a medication or employ representations associated with the drug culture.
- Nonprescription medication may not be equated or compared to prescription drugs. However, a reference to the heritage of a nonprescription drug, which was previously available only by prescription, is permitted.
- The words “safe,” “harmless,” “without risk,” or any words or phrases with similar meaning are generally not appropriate for drug advertising and may be used only when qualified and when satisfactory substantiation exists.
- Commercial copy should not dramatize distressing symptoms or morbid situations associated with specific illnesses or diseases, nor should it describe internal or external functions of the body in an objectionable manner.
- Products that are not expressly subject to an approved FDA a new drug application (NDA) may not be advertised as “FDA-approved.”
Prescription medications (prescription drugs)
Advertising of FDA-approved prescription drugs is acceptable, provided it complies with these Policies and applicable regulations or guidance issued by the FDA. Advertisers may be required to submit third-party substantiation concerning such compliance.
Advertising for prescription drugs is not acceptable in AOL Kids, or areas directed to kids. Prescription drug advertising in Cambio or areas directed to teens, may be acceptable and must be approved by Ad Policy team.
All advertising must support the important doctor-patient relationship.
Advertising must avoid language or inferences that would prompt people to borrow medications from friends for treatment of the advertised condition or illness, instead of consulting a physician.
Advertising for prescription drugs should in no way glamorize the product or otherwise encourage excessive, irresponsible, or improper drug use.
Advertising that provides comparative price information on identical products is acceptable. These ads cannot refer to uses or to the safety or effectiveness of the competitive product or make other representations about the competitive product, other than those permitted by the FDA reminder advertising regulations. Comparative claims other than price comparisons are not acceptable.
Advertising must not use scare tactics or otherwise prey on people’s fears and insecurities.
All advertisements must include the established name of the drug, in accordance with 21 CFR 202.1 (b), and the dosage form in accordance with 21 CFR 202.1(d)(2).
Decisions regarding appropriate scheduling will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account such factors as the nature of the prescription product and the conditions to be treated. No medical product advertising may be scheduled in or adjacent to children’s programming.
Guidance from the FDA: