What am I required to get approved?
By law, all advertisements for therapeutic goods appearing in specified media (newspapers, magazines, cinema, outdoor display, television and radio) must be approved prior to publication or broadcast. Outdoor display includes displays about goods appearing in shopping malls (except inside individual shops), in or on public transport and on billboards. Advertisements appearing in specified media (other than television and radio advertisements) must prominently display an approval number in the bottom right hand corner of the advertisement, stand-alone.
Advertisements appearing on the internet or in below the line media such as flyers, brochures, or point of sale material do not require approval, unless those flyers, brochures etc are inserted into mainstream newspapers or magazines for consumers, in which case they will also require pre-approval. However, below-the-line and internet consumer advertisements must still comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC) and other relevant provisions in the Act and Regulations. Although these advertising materials may not require formal approval, members are encouraged to consult with the Complementary Healthcare Council's Advertising Services Managers, or a consultant who is familiar with the regulatory requirements for the complementary healthcare industry, regarding all advertising material.
The Therapeutic Goods Act defines an advertisement for therapeutic goods as any statement or pictorial representation or design, however made, intended to promote the supply or use of goods. All advertisements for non-prescription therapeutic goods, including listed Complementary Healthcare Products (CHP), must comply with the relevant provisions of the therapeutic goods legislation and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC)
Products can be advertised only for those therapeutic indications that are included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for that specific product. The law requires that companies making product claims must hold evidence to substantiate the claims. A guideline is available to help manufacturers and marketers know what sort of evidence is required.
Guidelines for Levels and Kinds of Evidence to Support Indications and Claims for Non-Registered Medicines Including Complementary Medicines and Other Listed Medicines
How do I get advertising approval?
To submit an application for gaining approval, you must fill out the attached Application for Advertising Approval form which includes a checklist of everything that needs to be included in your application and a declaration that the information you are providing is true and correct. The media in which the advertisement will be running will then determine which industry body the application needs to be submitted to for approval. Applications for advertisements for complementary medicines appearing in newspapers, magazines, cinema, billboards, displays outside of individual shops and in public transport must be sent to the Complementary Healthcare Council. Applications for advertisements appearing in television and radio must be sent to the Australian Self Medication Industry.
Approval of an advertisement for Complementary Healthcare Products (CHPs) appearing in specified media must be gained prior to its publication or broadcast. Advertisements should not be booked for publication prior to approval being given, an approval number, an approval number issues or before entry onto the ARTG.
Where do I send the application for approval?
The Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia approves CHP advertisements appearing in specified media including mainstream media (newspapers and magazines), outdoor display (billboards, bus sides, taxi backs and posters in shopping malls outside individual shops) and cinema. To submitt an advertisement for review contact:
Please refer to page 2 of the Application for Advertising Approval, alternatively contact:
Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia
PO Box 450
MAWSON, ACT, 2607.
Tricia Campbell: 02 9542 5860
Ruben Jones: 07 3314 0641
Fax: 02 6260 4122
Approvals for radio or television CHP advertisements are currently provided by the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI). For approvals, contact:
Australian Self Medication Industry
PO Box 764
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059
Phone: 02 9955 7205
Fax: 02 9957 6204
How much does it cost?
Fees are set in the Therapeutic Goods Regulations (TGRegs), and must be paid even if approval is not gained. All fees must be paid before approval can be released.
How do I pay?
Please provide remittance advice, send to the CHC Finance Officer and reference the invoice number.
Payments should be made to the Complementary Healthcare Council, please supply remittance advice and reference the invoice number.
Credit card details can be supplied on the application form, otherwise details can be supplied once the invoice has been received. Credit card payments incur an additional surcharge (Inc GST) Visa/Mastercard 1.4%, Diners 2.2%, Amex 3.3%
Please contact the CHC Finance Officer Gail Savage on 02 6260 4022 or email
How are advertisements assessed?
Advertisements are assessed against the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC) as well as other advertising provisions such as the Therapeutic Goods Act and the Therapeutic Goods Regulations. The TGAC is a code of principles applying to the advertising of all non-prescription therapeutic goods to consumers. It requires that advertisements are truthful, valid, not misleading and are socially responsible. The TGAC does not allow advertisements for serious, life threatening conditions or diseases requiring professional diagnosis and management except where special approval has been granted.
How long will it take?
The bodies reviewing advertisements have up to 60 days under the TGRegs to assess an application for advertising approval, however the CHC are very mindful of commercial considerations, so the CHC Advertising Services Managers always strive to give a first round of feedback within five working days. Submissions are prioritised based on date of receipt and assessment time is determined by workload and complexity. To ensure that your submission is processed as quickly as possible, please review your advertisement against the TGAC for compliance before submission, include a completed and signed application form; including checklist requirements and make payment as soon as possible.