Plastic surgery ads trivializing breast augmentation banned in UK

December 27, 2011

Plastic surgery ads trivializing breast augmentation banned in UK
Plastic surgery ads trivializing breast augmentation banned in UK

A government watchdog group in the UK has banned an ad campaign for breast augmentation surgery.

The Campaign reports that the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) banned the Spire Healthcare ads because they were irresponsible and potentially targeted young girls. Apparently, the group had received several complaints about the poster-sized ads, which were placed in various outdoor locations such as bus stops.

According to The Guardian, the ASA ruled that the image and text of on the posters "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.

According to the Campaign, Spire Healthcare has removed the ads and insists they were meant to target women between the ages of 18 and 25. The company did not agree that they trivialized the surgery or objectified women.

In the U.S., breast augmentation surgery remained the most popular surgical procedure performed by plastic surgeons in 2010, with more than 318,000 individuals undergoing it, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

ASAPS reports that it was the most common plastic surgery among women between the ages of 19 and 34 last year, but is also common among those between the ages of 35 and 50 and those 18-years-old and younger.

Common reasons women choose to undergo this surgery include the perception of underdeveloped breasts, differences in the sizes of the breasts or from changes after pregnancy or breast-feeding. The procedure, which is used to improve breast shape and size, can give a woman more proportional shape and may improve self-esteem.


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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