By Rosie Wilson
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk) has raised issue with Valentine’s Day-themed plastic surgery deals being offered by some clinics. These deals have been seen all over the internet, and providers face no more than a warning from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
One clinic has gone so far as to offer breast implants as a Valentine’s Day ‘prize’. The government responded to the Keogh Report a year ago, condemning time-linked offers for treatments like facial injectables as unethical.
The BAAPS already publicly condemned cosmetic surgery ‘prizes’ in 2007, too, on the basis that it trivialised the risks of surgery while promoting the benefits to patients, and encouraging them to make a rash decision under the pressure of a limited-time ‘deal’. The deals also come in the light of the recent death of a medical student, who was pressured into undergoing liposuction after ‘winning’ the procedure in a beauty contest.
Rajiv Grover, former BAAPS president and consultant plastic surgeon, said:
“If despite government directive, providers can continue to advertise time-sensitive deals and prizes for what should be deemed as medical treatments, what message does that send about our sector?”
“This example of a cosmetic surgery competition was appalling in 2007, but beggars belief in 2015. It is outrageous that despite the warnings in the Keogh Review and the Government’s response, clinics continue to behave without a conscience by putting their profits before common sense. BAAPS has campaigned against this sort of marketing practice for over a decade and consistently pointed out loopholes in the regulation of the aesthetic sector, which have failed to be shut down.”
“Marketing such as this led thousands of women choosing to undergo breast augmentation without fully understanding the risks. A warning from the ASA in response to aggressive marketing and advertising is a bark without any bite, and clinics repeatedly flout this token slap on the wrist – yet will gain a database of patients who have no considered any risk.”