British aesthetics clinics are offering Botox in illegal cosmetics lotteries, MailOnline can reveal today.
Our investigation uncovered a dozen clinics running raffles online, inviting Brits to purchase tickets for as little as £5 for a chance to win treatment packages worth up to £650 in value.
Campaigners accused those running the raffles of employing ‘dangerous tactics’ to encourage Brits to have such treatments, including for prescription only drugs.
And they warned that offering the cosmetic procedures as prizes can trivialize them and their potential consequences.
Such lotteries can fall foul of the UK’s gaming regulator, the Gambling Commission.
Simply Aesthetics London has a dedicated web page for its monthly ‘Beautiful Raffle’
One of the prizes featured a £650 face contouring treatment, well above the £50 limit for legal raffles run by businesses
Simply Aesthetics London also reveal the winner via a digital roulette wheel on their Instagram page, according to UK gambling regulations such draws should not be run online
Businesses are not allowed to run or promote raffles online, or offer more than £50 in prizes, without a license.
Anyone caught flouting the rules could face almost a year in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.
Several of the raffles could also violate separate rules about advertising prescription medications like Botox and vitamin B12 injections.
Flouting these rules can result in a fine and/or two years imprisonment.
One clinic, Simply Aesthetics London, runs a monthly ‘Beautiful Raffle’ which last month offered £5 tickets to win a £650 ‘face contouring’ treatment package.
While the procedure is not detailed, similar ones advertised online involving using dental fillers or other treatments to enhance the shape of the face.
It also had £3 tickets to win £150 of lip filler treatment for the perfect ‘pout’ and a £2 ticket for £120 body fat dissolving treatment.
Like many other such raffles, winners are announced on the clinic’s Instagram page via a digital roulette wheel.
Clinic Emma Louise Beauty in Chichester has also run an ‘Aesthetics Raffle’ for £10 a ticket.
One of the prizes listed is Botox for three areas of the face, which is normally sold between £190 to £230.
Botox is the most recognised brand of Botulinum toxin, a substance used to paralyse facial muscles with the aim of reducing wrinkles.
Another clinic, Kallista Aesthetics in Witham, Essex, ran a Christmas raffle where, for £10 a ticket, a person could win a range of treatments, including £150 of Botox.
Other clinics’ raffles seen by MailOnline included £260 permanent makeup treatments as prizes for £8 a ticket, and £2 to £10 tickets for prescription only B12 and Botulinum toxin injections.
The Gambling Commission says while businesses can run lotteries and raffles for their customers, they must follow a strict set of rules.
These include only selling physical tickets in the actual place of business, with the draw to decide a winner also having to take place there.
Some clinics offered ‘Botox’ treatments as a prize in their raffles such as this ad by Emma Louise Beauty, which also urged people on social media to ‘DM’ them to purchase tickets
Another such as this one run last Christmas by Kallista Aesthetics also offered a ‘Botox’ prize, Botulinum Toxin is prescription only medication which means it carries strict rules regarding its promotion
Churchtown Aesthetics was another clinic to promote their business raffle as well as announce the winners online, something that the Gambling Commission says isn’t allowed. The clinic also listed botox and B12 injections as potential prizes, both of which are prescription only medication
The Commission specifies this can’t be done online and adds that prizes from the raffle and lottery cannot exceed £50 in value.
Businesses are also forbidden from making a profit on ticket sales and that proceeds should only cover the cost of supplying the prizes and running the raffle.
It is unclear if any clinics that MailOnline uncovered offering such lotteries were making a profit from running them.
If a lottery or raffle doesn’t follow these rules it needs to apply for permission from either the Commission or their local authority, depending on the ticket sales, to run it.
None of the clinics running raffles seen by MailOnline were listed on the Commission’s online register of licensed gambling businesses.
The Commission told MailOnline while it cannot comment on individual cases or websites, failure to follow its rules for lotteries can result in up to 51 weeks imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine.
Government agency the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which enforces rules forbidding the advertising of prescription only medications, said offering them in the form of vouchers/coupons at an ‘unreasonably low sum’ is also not permitted.
Businesses who do not follow advertising or promotional restrictions for prescription only drugs can face ‘both criminal and civil sanctions’, the MHRA said.
Dawn Knight, of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners, a body dedicated to promoting good practise in the cosmetic industry, said such raffles and ‘dangerous tactics’ had ‘no place’ in the British aesthetics sector.
Campaigners have called for an clinics to stop offering lotteries and raffles for treatments, especially those that feature prescription only medications
Arc Aesthetics, a clinic in East Grinstead, also offered B12 injections as well as lip filler as prizes in raffle for tickets costing as little as £2 each
Sitpretti by Georgia told MailOnline they did not know such raffles were illegal and would be returning the money paid for by customers
She added clinics operating such raffles failed to mention many of risks associated with the ‘prizes’, such as parts of the face ‘freezing’ if too much Botulinum toxin is injected.
‘There is never a mention to the requirement of consultation, risk and suitability and is the worst example of predatory advertising,’ she said.
‘They are glossing over the risks with a cheap procedure.’
She added: ‘Anyone participating in these lotteries may well not realise or consider that it is illegal and worth noting they can ask for their money back.’
With ministers having pledged to establish a licensing plan for the aesthetics industry this year, Ms Knight said it was time for sector to clean up how it promoted products.
‘The sector should look to cleaning up its advertising of procedures, and in particular the illegal advertising of prescription only medicines such as Botulinum toxin and B12… let alone offering them as a prize,’ she said.
MailOnline contacted all of the clinics it found hosting and promoting raffles for comment.
Sitpretti by Georgia told this website they did not know such raffles were illegal and would be returning the money paid by customers.