15 November 2011
Q. I would like to advertise my surgery on a local internet music streaming service. Can you see any problems?
The difficulty you may face in relation to this form of advertising is that the marketing process is indiscriminate and therefore you have no control regarding who would receive the advertisement and therefore how they would react.
It is likely that such advertisements would be received by patients of other dental practices and indeed other dental registrants. It is not uncommon in these situations that concerns regarding information contained within an advertisement may then find its way to the GDC should an individual object to the way in which the information is being promoted.
The other consideration in relation to advertising would be in relation to the wording of any information used and you would wish to ensure that any advertisement or promotion produced by the practice is true, accurate and capable of substantiation. When reviewing the wording of any advertisement you would wish to ensure that the information provided could not be misinterpreted in any way or be seen to mislead a patient.
There is always the potential with “promotional offers” that a clinician may be challenged that patients are, in effect, being given a financial incentive to have treatment undertaken and the GDC may challenge that this approach would not be seen to be in an individual patient’s best interests. It would be sensible to check the final wording with your indemnifier.