During the ever-popular recent series of ITV’s Love Island, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a number of complaints in regard to an advert that was aired during one of its advert breaks. The advert was for a cosmetic surgery clinic and showed a number of young ladies enjoying themselves in exotic locations, with an accompanying voiceover which claimed that thanks to their breast enlargements, these girls all felt amazing.
Complaints were received about the nature and tone of this advert, suggesting that “the ad exploited young women’s insecurities about their bodies, trivialised breast enhancement surgery and portrayed it as aspirational. It challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and harmful.”
Cosmetic surgery advertising
This reopens the debate about ethical advertising and the platforms that are used to influence consumers. For many people, the decision to have a breast enlargement is one that they will have thought about for many years, and it is not a decision that will have been taken lightly.
Professional cosmetic surgeons in the UK undertake a lengthy consultations period with prospective patients, to ensure they have:
- Suitably weighed up the risks and rewards
- Completely understand the procedure they are opting for
- Set realistic expectations about what they wish to achieve and what is possible
- Have a healthy enough lifestyle that will aid the body in its recovery following the operation
- Discussed their choices with family (and/or friends) to help with the decision-making process
- Researched their options fully and have selected the correct surgeon for the job
- Fully understood the recovery process
Any form of cosmetic surgery comes with a degree of risk, and patients are advised to ensure that they are 100% sure about their decisions before making a commitment to proceed.
Although the viewing audience for Love Island is large (the live final attracted 3.6 million viewers), its core demographic is younger viewers: “Love Island‘s final was the most watched programme in its slot across all channels and the most watched programme for 16-34s, with 1.6 million 16-34 viewers.”
It is information such as this that the advertising watchdog considers when deciding whether to ban advertising that may be deemed unethical and they recently announced that this advert was banned from ever being shown again on national TV.
Although women can decide from as young as eighteen that they wish to undergo breast enhancements, it is advised that this decision is not rushed. Factors such as waiting for your breasts to be fully developed, and considering the impact on future decisions such as starting a family and breastfeeding all need to be considered as part of your wider planning for an operation such as this.