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How to make a complaint about advertising

1 July 2018

Australia has laws about what can and can't be shown in advertising for medicines, medical devices and other therapeutic goods.

The TGA is the single body responsible for handling complaints about the advertising of therapeutic goods to the public. Anyone may lodge a complaint about an advertisement for therapeutic goods and all complaints are treated in confidence unless you consent to the release of your personal details. Anonymous complaints are also accepted.

1.

Visit the TGA advertising portal

If you see an ad that looks as though it doesn't comply with the rules, you can submit a complaint using our online complaints form.

Log on to the TGA website and navigate to the complaint form through our advertising hub.

2.

Complete the complaint form

The details you provide will help us to assess and prioritise your complaint. When lodging a complaint please include as many details as possible, including:

  • the name of the advertiser
  • the name of the product
  • the name of the publication and the date published
  • details of why the ad is unacceptable to you

Wherever possible, please provide a copy of the ad as you viewed it (for example a screen-shot of an internet ad or a photocopy of a brochure or publication).

Providing your details is also helpful in case we want to ask you more questions about the advertisement.

3.

Take note of the reference number

Each complaint lodged through our online form will receive a unique reference number. This number can be used to track the progress of your complaint.

4.

Check our website for outcomes

There are consequences for advertisers who don't comply with the rules. These may include warnings and fines.

We have made a commitment to handle complaints within certain timeframes depending on the level of priority. Priority is determined by the seriousness of the potential risk to public health and safety.

Outcomes of each complaint will be published on the TGA website. Where the TGA has taken action under the legislation (like ordering an advertiser to take certain steps), detailed information will also be published.

Not sure if what you have seen is breaking the rules?

If you have seen an advertisement and you're not sure if it breaks the rules, you can lodge an online enquiry from the advertising hub.

You can also have a look at our fact sheet '10 things to look out for in medicine advertisements'.

For further assistance or any enquiries about advertising, contact us through our online enquiry form or email us at tga.advertising@tga.gov.au