This case forms part of a wider piece of work on ads for cosmetic surgery abroad, identified for investigation following intelligence gathered by our Active Ad Monitoring system, which uses AI to proactively search for online ads that might break the rules.

In June 2023, the United Nations confirmed that, following a request from their government, that the Republic of Turkey would henceforth be identified as the Republic of Türkiye. Although the change has been implemented we have used the former here because it is currently more commonly understood by consumers and reflects the language used in the advertising content considered in this case.

Summary of Council decision:

Three issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld.

Ad description

A paid-for Facebook ad for Grand Clinic, promoting cosmetic surgery in Turkey, seen in May 2023.

Text stated “Turkey Istanbul – Plastic Surgeries Contact us on WhatsApp […] Special Offer For This Month – 3 Areas Liposuction – Tummy Tuck – Breast Lift”.

The ad showed a photo of a woman dressed in a bikini and wearing sunglasses. Large text superimposed on the photo stated “MOMMY MAKEOVER” and repeated the three procedures included with the price “4400€”.

Underneath the image, text stated “Grab this opportunity! Turkey Istanbul – Plastic Surgeries”, with a button labelled, “Learn more”.


The ASA challenged whether the:

1. claim “MOMMY MAKEOVER” was irresponsible because it exploited mothers’ insecurities around body image;

2. references to “Special Offer For This Month” and “Grab this opportunity!” pressured consumers into purchasing surgery and were therefore irresponsible; and

3. ad misleadingly omitted information regarding the need for a pre-consultation to assess the patient’s potential contraindications and suitability for the procedures, including where such a pre-consultation would take place.


1., 2, & 3. Grand Clinic did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.

Meta had no comments in relation to the ASA’s investigation.


The ASA was concerned by Grand Clinic’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

1. Upheld

The CAP code required that marketing communications must not include gender stereotypes that were likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

We considered that women may already be body conscious because of pre-existing societal pressures and that any concerns and anxieties about their weight and shape were likely to have been heightened after giving birth.

We considered that the claim “MOMMY MAKEOVER”, alongside a photo of a slim woman wearing a bikini, in the context of an ad for a package of cosmetic interventions including “3 areas Liposuction Tummy Tuck Breast Lift”, exploited the insecurities of mothers about their body image and perpetuated pressure for them to conform to body image stereotypes.

We concluded that the ad presented a gender stereotype regarding body image in a way that was likely to cause harm and therefore breached the Code.

On that point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 4.9 (Harm and offence).

2. Upheld

We considered that although it would not necessarily be irresponsible to offer promotions for surgical procedures, marketers would need to take particular care when executing and administering them.

The ad referred to a “Special offer for this month”, listed the procedures offered for the price of €4400 and included text at the bottom of ad to “Grab this opportunity!”, with a button to click on to “Learn more”. We considered that consumers would interpret this to mean there was a time-limited opportunity to take up the special offer.

We considered that cosmetic surgery should be portrayed as something that required time and thought from consumers, because of the seriousness of a decision to undertake an invasive medical procedure. By advertising a “Special offer for this month” and encouraging people to “Grab this opportunity!”, consumers could be rushed into making an important decision, without having sufficient time to consider the consequences.

Because it created a sense of undue urgency to respond quickly, we considered that the ad had not been prepared in a socially responsible manner, and therefore concluded that it breached the Code.

On that point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Social responsibility).

3. Upheld

The CAP Guidance on Cosmetic interventions stated that marketers should not imply that invasive surgery was a “minor procedure” or similar if that claim was likely to mislead as to the complexity or duration of the operation, the pain experienced either during or after the operation, the length of the recovery time or the potential side-effects. Ads should not mislead as to the likely commitment required for pre-consultation, surgery, recovery and post-operative assessments.

The ad omitted information regarding the need for a pre-consultation to assess the patient’s potential contraindications and suitability for the three procedures advertised, including where such a pre-consultation would take place. We understood that a pre-consultation would be necessary in order to discuss the patient’s concerns and suitability for the procedures, outline the complexity or duration of the operations, the possible pain during or after the operation, the length of recovery time and the potential risks and side effects. While we had not received a response from the advertiser, we understood it was likely that those pre-consultations might sometimes need to take place in person rather than remotely. We considered that in the context of an ad for cosmetic surgery abroad, information regarding the necessity for pre-consultations and where those would take place was material information necessary for consumers to make a considered decision and should have been included in the ad. Because that material information was not included in the ad we concluded that it was misleading.

On that point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.1 and rule 3.3 (Misleading advertising).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Grand Clinic not to present gender stereotypes regarding body image in a way that was likely to cause harm, including by using the term “mommy makeover” to describe surgical procedures. We told them to ensure that their ads were socially responsible and did not present the decision to have cosmetic surgery as a decision that should be rushed. We told Grand Clinic not to mislead consumers by omitting material information regarding cosmetic surgery procedures abroad and the need for a pre-consultation, including where it would take place. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

1.7     1.3     3.1     3.3     4.9    

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