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The Code

Guide to the Advertising of Non-prescription Medicines to Consumers


Restricted Representations

Guidelines for the Levels and Kinds of Evidence to Support Claims for Therapeutic Goods

Industry Codes


(1)      Analgesics

        (a)           Analgesics are those preparations for internal use containing one or more of the following substances intended for the relief of minor aches and pains:

                (i) salicylic acid, its salts, its derivatives (including aspirin) and their salts;
                (ii) codeine;
                (iii) other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; or
                (iv) paracetamol.

        (b)          This excludes preparations for internal use in self-limiting conditions and which contain an analgesic in combination with one or more other active ingredients such as cough mixtures and cold tablets.

        (c)           An advertisement for analgesics (other than product labels and radio advertisements which are 15 seconds or less) must contain the following warning statement, prominently displayed or communicated i.e. standing out so as to be easily read from a normal viewing distance, and/or heard and understood:

        “Use only as directed.  Incorrect use could be harmful.  Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist”

        (d)          Radio advertisements which are 15 seconds or less must include the following:

        “Always read the label.  Use only as directed by a healthcare professional”

        (e)           An advertisement for analgesics must not imply that:

                (i) analgesic consumption is safe; or

                (ii) analgesics will relax, relieve tension, sedate or stimulate.

(2)      Vitamins

An advertisement for vitamins shall not imply that vitamin supplements:

        (a)    are a substitute for good nutrition or a balanced diet; or

        (b)   are in any way superior to or more beneficial than dietary nutrients or that normal health may be affected by not taking vitamin supplements.

(3)      Weight management

Advertisements for Therapeutic Goods containing claims for weight management, meaning weight loss, measurement reduction, clothing size loss and weight control/maintenance, must have an appropriate balance between the claims and references to healthy energy-controlled diet and physical activity.

Click HERE to see the code in full