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Advertising and Dentists: 4 Things to Avoid

With all the marketing techniques that exist, it’s easy to get carried away when you are a professional who wants to advertise their business. However, as a member of a professional order, it is essential to keep in mind that you are subject to ethical obligations. If you are a dentist or a content creator hired to work on a dentist’s marketing, here are 4 things to avoid when it comes to advertising in order to comply with the ethical obligations of dentists.

Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding marketing for dentists and its legal considerations, send us an email at info@artylaw.ca.

 

1) Offer services in exchange for visibility 

Over 2 years ago, the Collège des Médecins reminded its members that the exchange of free services for web visibility was strictly prohibited by their Code of ethics, thus making the use of influencer marketing impossible. This prohibition also exists in the Code of ethics of dentists.

Indeed, dentists must refrain from “granting, in the practice of [their] profession, any advantage, commission or rebate to any person whomsoever”. You’d like to increase your online visibility? Influencer marketing will not be the strategy to go for.

 

2) Compare its services

Do you want to demonstrate the quality or value of your services? The last thing you should think of doing is comparing your services to those of a competitor in one of your advertisements.

It is important to keep in mind that the Code of ethics of dentists prohibits any form of comparative advertising. It is not just a question of direct comparison with a competitor. Terms like “cheaper”, “more efficient” and “less complicated” are comparative, even if you only refer to techniques or new technologies. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the language used in your advertisements.

 

3) Use testimonials

Using testimonials is probably one of the most effective and widely used marketing techniques. Unfortunately, if you are a dentist, you are prohibited from using statements of support or recognition about yourself in advertisements or in any public intervention. Remember that you may be subject to sanctions by the Ordre des dentistes du Québec even if the advertisement was not created by you and you were not consulted during its creation. This applies to all of your ethical obligations regarding advertising.

 

4) Advertise promotions without paying attention to the format

Finally, if you are a dentist who wishes to advertise promotions in your advertisements, know that certain rules must be observed. Among other things, you must mention the regular price of the service, the promotional price and the expiration date of this promotion. The terms “regular price”, “exceptional price” and “exceptional price ends” must be used. It is also essential that the regular price and the exceptional price be presented using characters of the same size, when visual advertising is involved.

 

If you have any additional questions you would like to ask us regarding the legal aspects of advertising and the ethical obligations of dentists, do not hesitate to send us an email at info@artylaw.ca.

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