A radio ad broadcast on Kiss FM for My Breast cosmetic surgery stated, "Are you considering cosmetic surgery? Then talk to My Breast. We offer both surgical and non-surgical procedures that can help you look and feel fantastic. From tummy tucks to liposuction, nose reshaping and breast augmentation. We offer outstanding aftercare. All of our surgeons are highly experienced experts and we only use the highest quality implants, which have a lifetime warranty." A jingle played in the background throughout the ad and at the close included the lyrics "My body, my choice, My Breast". The voice-over continued, "Text 'body' to XXXXX and we'll call you back."
The listener challenged whether the ad was inappropriately scheduled, because it was broadcast at times when he considered the content would have had particular appeal to under 18-year-olds.
My Aesthetics Ltd t/a My Breast (MB) explained that they advertised cosmetic surgical procedures and did not advertise them as weight loss or slimming alternatives. They did not therefore believe it was irresponsible to broadcast such ads. Nevertheless, they said they regretted that a complaint was made about the ad in question and took complaints seriously.
The RACC explained that Kiss FM had passed on the schedule for the ad which was targeted at 18- to 45-year-old female listeners. Whilst there were no scheduling restrictions placed on it, Kiss FM had confirmed that they did not broadcast the ad during the breakfast show as they recognised the school run during breakfast and they were careful about what they placed in that show particularly.
The RACC sent, on behalf of Kiss, a graph that illustrated Kiss FM's 15–18 audience and this age group's listening figures compared to its total audience figures. They explained that Kiss FM was not able to provide Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) figures for the day in question but they provided a programming schedule for that day. They said that because the ad was broadcast on 31st December, they ran an additional "Kisstory" during that day, which attracted the older end of their audience. They also ran a New Year's Eve extended mix into the evening, delivering music for New Year's Eve and New Year's Eve parties.
The ASA understood that the ad was played throughout the day on 31st December. We noted that the ad referred to "tummy tucks" and "liposuction" that were surgical procedures which resulted in a slimmer appearance and that the BCAP Code stated that ads for slimming products, treatments or establishments must not be broadcast during or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18.
We considered the audience figures provided. We noted that approximately 20–30% of Kiss FM's listeners were aged under 18 years, and this figure was fairly consistent regardless of the day of the week or time in question. We also noted that Kiss FM's website made reference to the fact of its popularity amongst young listeners, for example, it stated "Kiss 100 continues to successfully hit the mark with its young London target audience, reaching more 15-24s and more 15-34s than any radio station in London" and "Kiss is an iconic youth brand". We therefore considered that because the ad featured references to slimming treatments and was broadcast at times and during programmes that were likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18, it had been inappropriately scheduled.
The ad breached BCAP Code Rule 32.2.4 32.2.4 slimming products, treatments or establishments (an exception is made for advertisements for calorie-reduced or energy-reduced foods and drinks, if they are not presented as part of a slimming regime and provided the advertisements do not use the theme of slimming or weight control) (Scheduling).
The ad must not be broadcast again without a relevant timing restriction. Specifically, it must not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18 years. We told MB that if they were to advertise on stations with particular appeal to under 18-year-olds in future, they should not refer to tummy tucks, liposuction or any other slimming treatments.