Sun, sea and… Surgery? – Advice on cosmetic surgery tourism advertising – ASA

Sun, sea and… Surgery? – Advice on cosmetic surgery tourism advertising

There are many factors to consider when considering a cosmetic intervention, including medical and personal factors. However, another important aspect for many is the price. In times like these, it’s perhaps no wonder that consumers are looking for alternatives to traditional Harley Street style treatments, with more and more clinics offering British consumers cheaper options abroad. increasing. But it’s not all smiles… tune in and hear (or read!) how two overseas-based clinics recently crossed a line of his CAP code.

talking turkey

Recently, the ASA investigated whether a ‘health and vacation together’ ad on Facebook in Turkey was irresponsible. The ad advertised a “summer sale” and an “all-inclusive package,” but also included “luxury hotels, VIP transfers, and lifetime online support” for another package called “Mom’s Makeover.” was mentioning. Belly tuck, breast surgery, liposuction. The ASA believes that advertising doesn’t trivialize surgery, that the term “summer sale” doesn’t put pressure on customers to purchase surgery, and that the term “mom makeover” evokes new mothers’ fears about body image. We examined five points as a whole, such as whether or not they were being abused.

In terms of diminution, the ASA believed that the ad focused more on the “vacation” aspect than surgery, calling the product “vacation” and focusing on transportation, hotels, etc. . violated norms that (among other things) detract from the seriousness of surgery and thereby trivialize the decision to undergo it.

A second case study is about an Instagram story, also about surgery in Turkey. The ad mentions the ‘New Year’s Campaign’ of ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’ and ‘360 Liposuction’ for ‘2400 Euro all inclusive’ and features a hotel emoji, an ambulance emoji and an Istanbul location icon. It was done, but very little information was available. About the actual package.

Once again, the ASA considered (from another point of view) whether the advertisement trivialized the decision to undergo surgery. In coming to the decision, the ASA said the ad had a festive and upbeat feel to it, and that the visuals and language focused on the “feel good” element of physical change, which could undermine the seriousness of the surgery. I thought it was expensive. The ASA ruled that the ad viewed cosmetic surgery in a purely positive light, suggesting that the decision could be as lighthearted as a New Year’s resolution or a vacation. Ultimately, all three complaints were upheld.

Certainly not all inclusive…

Interestingly, in both cases, the advertisers did not include information about potential contraindications or the need for prior consultation to assess general patient suitability. In its assessment, the ASA found that both advertisements offer services abroad rather than in the UK, which poses additional risks, including whether doctors and caregivers receive the same standards of care and safety as in the UK. stressed that it could occur. And how will arrangements for follow-up care and coping with complications be managed?

It is important to note that ASA never comment on products or services per se, nor do we expect advertisers to list every step in the process or potential complications from surgery. However, the advertisement lacked information on prior consultations, which the ASA considered important (especially given that the proceedings were conducted overseas), giving the overall impression of being trivialized. Gave. Decisions to undergo surgery or other invasive cosmetic interventions should never be taken lightly and advertisements should contain all the essential information necessary to ensure responsible advertising.


The CAP Code does not prohibit promotional marketing in this area. Cosmetic surgery advertisers are allowed to offer discounts and sales on products and services, both internationally and in the UK.

That said, marketers in this space have been cautious about their marketing, taking advantage of people (particularly vulnerable groups), pressuring customers with limited-time offers, and offering contingencies such as hotel stays and airline tickets. You should avoid anything that might shift your focus to a more sexual aspect. , rather than the surgery or intervention itself. Advertisers should also keep in mind that the invasiveness of the procedure may affect acceptability. The more invasive the procedure, the more trivial and frivolous the advertising should be.

It’s also worth noting that in both of the above cases, the ASA focused on the misleading and social responsibility factors rather than aggression (i.e., “mom makeover”) and the like. In these examples, the harmful and irresponsible aspects took precedence, but copy advice teams often see advertisements for offshore proceedings combined with flirtatious or joking imagery. Images, wording, and even emojis can change the acceptability of an overall ad, and again, choosing specific images or phrases detracts from the seriousness of the cosmetic surgery ad and risks being considered. may increase. Irresponsible.

If you are looking for more information on this topic, please see our guidance on Cosmetic Surgery and Cosmetic Interventions: Social Responsibility. You can also get free and confidential advice on non-broadcast campaigns by contacting the CAP Copy Advice team.

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