In order to comply with Principle 7, all means of financing the site or application must be clearly stated. 

In addition, it must be indicated on the site or application whether or not the authors of the content are health professionals and/or have links of interest with health products and cosmetics companies.

This part of the principle being a little complex, but nevertheless essential, you will find the necessary information in this article.

As legislation varies from country to country, we focused mainly on France, Switzerland, Belgium and the United States.

All services certified or wishing to be certified by the HONcode and which display ads must comply with publication rules:

  1. Propose a clear and easily accessible advertising policy.
  2. If advertising is a source of funding for the service, this must be mentioned in the advertising policy.
  3. All advertising must be clearly identified by the term "Advertising" or a similar term, and clearly differentiated from the information content of the service by a separate framework.

Find in images how to identify your ads and thus be in compliance with the HONcode.


If the service does not display advertisements, these rules do not apply. Nevertheless, the absence of advertising must be clearly mentioned within the content or the service.

These advertising publication rules are an integral part of the guidelines for compliance with Principle 8 of the HONcode: Advertising Policy


HON Commitment
In line with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we have updated our privacy policy and initiated necessary changes such as the appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and a specific email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions you may have about data protection to fully ensure that our sites comply with these regulations.

Your engagement
In connection with this, we bring to your attention the fact that your site must comply with this regulation in order to be certified.

 - Reform of EU data protection rules 2018 :
 - Swiss link:
 - French link:

(Directive initially published on 28 March 2013, available here)

Since 2013, all services certified or wishing to be HONcode certified displaying before and after photographs (images and/or videos concerning medical treatment) must follow publication rules:

  1. Images must be taken in similar circumstances (lighting, position, camera settings, etc.)
  2. Images must not be modified except when the purpose is to protect the patient's identity, and when the changes do not misrepresent the results of the surgery.
  3. A disclaimer must accompany the photographs/videos concerned, and must include the following information:
  • The before and after images were taken under similar circumstances, and it is the same person on the images,
  • The dates of the images as well as the dates of the surgeries and the number of surgeries,
  • The consent of the persons whose images are posted on the site was duly taken,
  • The photographs have not been retouched or improved,
  • The expected results are specific to each individual, and the consequences of surgical operation cannot be 100% guaranteed.

Example: "The photos illustrating ours before/after clinical cases show consenting persons and the same patients appear, respectively, for the before/after results. These photos have not been retouched. We expressly draw your attention to the fact that the observed result is specific to the person concerned and that an identical result cannot be expected for another person, because of the individuality of each person."


These rules do not apply to before-and-after photo images used for educational purposes, such as radiology images showing students the results of a particular operation.
These rules for publishing before/after photos are an integral part of the compliance guidelines in Principle 5 of the HONcode: Justification


The HON Foundation has a policy of not certifying sites offering online trade in medicines, medical devices, cosmetics and food.
Indeed, we are currently unable to evaluate all the parameters related to online sales (sales, receipt, after-sales service, quality and product conformity).

Nevertheless, your opinion is essential and could help us frame this type of services in the future. To help us, you can complete this survey.