Pete Richardson previously worked as a national newspaper journalist and loved hearing rumours and stories. But since he began working in the aesthetics industry, he says he has heard way more than his fair share of gossip.
I have always been one for a good story.
The better the story the more fun I had writing them for a national newspaper.
I travelled the world following up leads and stories, trying to verify whispers and tip-offs.
But this aesthetics industry is something else.
This morning I was speaking to a very senior manager from a multi-million-pound pharmaceutical company, and he agreed that the aesthetics industry is awash with tittle-tattle and hearsay.
He raised the subject based on an conversation we were having about a problem with a particular product being made unavailable because of an individual spreading malicious gossip.
It made me realise that ever since I became involved, I have had to wade through mountains of misinformation to get to the facts of any particular matter.
And it seems it’s at every level of the industry.
At the end of 2018, while the JCCP was preparing to officially announce that non-medics would not be able to join their new and highly anticipated register, the news appeared on Facebook.
Much consternation followed as the rumour-mill went into overdrive. Facebook almost exploded and Whats App groups started to smoke.
Since then I have dealt with scores of questions posed by concerned individuals who have been told that they can’t train on this course or that, or that this particular course is level 7, or that you can’t get insurance for that.
I regularly have to explain that there is no truth to the rumour that the Government is about to make “Botox” only available to medics or that it’s going to be illegal to administer fillers.
Then it’s the story about people being “qualified” up to level 7 in injectables.
Another highly respected businessman has told me he was inundated with complaints after a company was wrongly accused of training non-medics on his medics only programme.
It is extremely unproductive and must be seriously stressful for those at the wrong end of this torrent of misinformation and rumour.
And while the industry remains largely unregulated and growing at such an incredible rate it is likely to continue – mainly because there’s so much money involved and money breeds jealousy, and jealously leads to loose-tongues and tell-tales.
So it seems I will always have stories to follow and tell.