Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Plastic Surgery Adverts Banned by ASA

Cosmetic surgery advert bannedThe breast enlargement adverts shown in-between this year’s TV hit Love Island, caused outrage across the country. Now, the ASA has banned the plastic surgery advert from ever being aired again, claiming they contribute towards a woman’s poor self-image, glamourizing surgery.

Below, we’ll look at why plastic surgery ads are potentially harmful and what led to the ban being enforced.

Why all the controversy?

Attitudes towards cosmetic surgery have changed dramatically in recent years. It has become much more acceptable for both men and women to go under the knife to alter their appearance. However, while the stigma behind having plastic surgery may have disappeared, care still needs to be taken to protect young, vulnerable patients.

The MYA cosmetic surgery ad ran from May to June during the ad breaks for popular series Love Island. It showed young women dancing, laughing and posing around a swimming pool, on a boat and on a beach. Its voiceover declared that all of the women had undergone breast enlargement surgery and now felt amazing.

It managed to receive 17 complaints, one of which came from the Mental Health Foundation. It was claimed that the ad exploited the insecurities of young women, as well as trivialising the procedure. It gave the impression that women wouldn’t be happy and live the kind of carefree life shown in the ad, unless they underwent the surgery. The ASA agreed with the complaints, banning the ad completely.

How plastic surgery ads could prove harmful

The main risk these types of adverts pose according to the BAPPS, is the damage to the body image of vulnerable and young patients. With so much pressure placed onto young people to look perfect, the last thing they need is to be bombarded with ads regarding cosmetic surgery.

While there is no denying that plastic surgery can be a positive, life-changing experience, when carried out for the wrong reasons it can prove potentially damaging; especially to those with mental health issues. Often, surgery doesn’t fix the underlying issues when patients are suffering from a mental illness. This means they could end up regretting their decision, or it could even potentially make them feel even worse about themselves.

Patients need to be aware of how serious cosmetic surgery is

Another issue with the breast augmentation ad, was that it trivialised the procedure. It may be one of the most commonly performed treatments, but it is still a major surgery. Like any procedure, it comes with risks and complications. It isn’t a small decision to make and that really does need to be made clearer to patients considering having it done.

When performed for the right reasons, plastic surgery can be extremely beneficial. Due to the sheer number of different treatments available these days, patients are able to alter practically every aspect of their appearance. However, it needs to be their choice, without any external pressures, to go through with the procedure. The banning of ads such as the one shown during Love Island, can therefore only be a positive thing.


Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

CONTACT MR HORLOCK
Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
Southampton,
Hampshire
S016 6UY
Sophie Freud - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969
info@nigelhorlock.co.uk