Botox and Dysport Get into a Facial Paralysis Catfight

by SUSANNAH LONG · March 16, 2010

[Photo courtesy of stylelist] It seems like everyone uses Botox, but now upstart Dysport has declared war with a rebate campaign. We all know where the competition really shakes down, however: superficial content found on company websites. Let's see how they stack up!-

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Thunderdome Time:

Actual Toxin

Botox: onabotulinumtoxinA Dysport: AbobotulinumtoxinA

Winner: Dysport. More syllables = more science going into your face.

Slogan

Botox: "The One. The Only" Dysport: "The Timing's Just Right."

Winner: Botox. The subtext of Dysport's motto is "You're old," while Botox's is "You're unique and individual! So are we! Let's crush our enemies!"

Special Effects

Botox: A face morpher! Dysport: Still photos. Eh:

Winner: Botox. Face morpher! Face morpher! Face Morpher!

Color Scheme

Botox: Royal Purple Dysport: Teals and blues

Winner: Botox, which lets you know it'll make you feel like a queen. Dysport's message here seems to be, "For god's sake, calm down, we won't ruin your face."

Model

Botox:

Dysport:

Winner: Botox. Here's the real killing blow for Dysport: their model has been airbrushed into a plastic-skinned monster. Botox, in contrast, has a hot woman who still looks like a woman - not an android. She looks better than any middle-aged woman I know, but she's clearly human. I'd be scared that Botox lady would steal my boyfriend, but I'd be terrified that Dysportica would crawl through the ventilation system and kill me while I slept.

Final Tally:

Dysport - 1

Botox - 3

For your sake, I hope the rebate pays off, Dysport!

Oh, you've never actually heard of Dysport? You’re forgiven. Manufacturer Medicis (which also produces Restylane) only released it last year, but it's hoping to capture a quarter of Botox’s market share. In order to do that, Medicis is offering a hefty rebate not only on its own product, but on a Botox treatment for those customers who are dissatisfied with Dysport. The pharmaceutical industry is known for its aggressive marketing and pretty-young-thing reps, but this is the first time a company has issued such a sweeping and double-edged rebate. It’s an idea that could pay off big, since Botox and Dysport are extremely similar: both are made from botulinum toxins meant to paralyze facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, both are injected into the face, and both are FDA-approved. Because the injections must be repeated every 4 – 6 months, odds are good that many users will jump at the chance to save some green on their next treatment.

Predictably, Botox is pissed. Caroline Van Hove, a spokeswoman for parent company Allergan, icily tells the NYT that Dysport is luring customers “for the wrong reasons, deflecting their attention to bargain shopping versus proper physician dialogue on product benefits/safety.” Hey, Allergan, remember how you have that "Brilliant Distinctions" program that rewards users with "Botox Points" that they can redeem for rebates? Pot. Kettle.