Doctors propose ban on plastic surgery advertising in the UK

February 21, 2012

Doctors propose ban on plastic surgery advertising in the UK
Doctors propose ban on plastic surgery advertising in the UK

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) is urging lawmakers to ban all advertising for plastic surgeries.

According to the Daily Mail, banning advertisements is just one of the six recommendations the group is making in order to make the industry safer in the wake of the French PIP breast implant scandal that affected as many as 400,000 women in 65 different countries (not the United States).

"Over the last decade the BAAPS has worked tirelessly to educate the public on the many aggressive marketing gimmicks that not only trivialize surgery but endanger the patient," BAAPS president Fazel Fatah said. "We have warned against the unrealistic expectations set by reality 'makeover' shows and against crass competition prizes promising 'mummy makeovers' and body overhauls. In no other area of surgery would one encounter Christmas vouchers and two-for-one offers - the pendulum has swung too far, and it is time for change."

Other recommendations the association is making include reclassifying dermal fillers, such as Botox, as medicines, developing a compulsory register of all clinicians and ensuring that surgeons undergo an annual safety audit.

A current lack of regulation helps to fuel what BAAPs calls a "cowboy" market that allows unscrupulous companies to target the young and vulnerable.

In December, for instance, a government watchdog group banned ads that targeted young women and urged them to get breast implants.

According to The Guardian, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) ruled that the image and text on poster-sized ads placed at bus stops "conveyed the message that breast surgery was a straightforward, risk-free lifestyle decision."

The posters were designed to look like the cover of a glossy fashion magazine and featured a young, attractive woman with large breasts. The text on them included phrases such as "get more, pay less," "same day surgery," "boob jobs" and "more affordable than you think."

The ASA believed these phrases trivialized the surgery and focused on its affordability and speed, rather than the importance of consulting with a qualified, licensed plastic surgeon before the procedure.

No matter where you live, experts say that it is important to discuss surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures with a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure your safety and a positive outcome.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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