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Cosmetic surgery advertising

23 January 2012

Following recent headlines and public health concerns about faulty breast implants, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and its members are calling for a ban on the advertising of cosmetic surgery. While any ban would have to be passed by Government through legislation; the ASA is committed to ensuring that all ads for cosmetic procedures stick to the strict Advertising Codes which require ads to be prepared responsibly and avoid being misleading, harmful or offensive.

Advertising of cosmetic surgery has become increasingly commonplace over the last few years. As the procedure is legally available it is also legally allowed to be advertised, subject to strict rules.

It is our role to respond to concerns about ads and assess whether we need to take any action; we don’t hesitate to act against any advertiser who promotes cosmetic surgery in an irresponsible, misleading or potentially harmful way.

Read the following rulings to find out more about recent ASA action in this area:

MyCityDeal Ltd t/a Groupon UK – We considered an e-mail offering discounted cosmetic surgery pressured consumers into making a decision to (to all intents and purposes) purchase cosmetic surgery was irresponsible.

Spire Healthcare Ltd - A poster ad for breast enhancement surgery was likely to be seen as trivialising breast enhancement surgery and appeared in a medium likely to be seen by children.

My Aesthetics Ltd t/a Mybreast - A magazine ad, for My Breast promoting the surgery as "safe", was irresponsible and misleading.

Harley Medical Group Ltd - A poster ad, for cosmetic surgery promoting a surgical operation as "EASY” was irresponsible and misleading.

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