British Surgeons Group Calls for Ban on Cosmetic Surgery Advertising

| 23 January 2012

A British Surgeons group is calling for the cessation of cosmetic surgery advertising in light of what it sees as "marketing gimmicks" that lead to unsafe and unnecessary surgeries.

The President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), Fazel Fatah told BBC news that "the many aggressive marketing gimmicks [not] only trivialize surgery but endanger the patient."

Fatah further noted that patients are victim to "unrealistic expectations", "crass competition" and marketing offers such as two-for-one coupons.

As a result of those concerns, the group is calling for increased regulation of the industry including the cessation of all advertising. The group is hoping that the UK Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) inquiry currently being led by Prof. Sir Bruce Keough will provide an opening for the regulation.

BAAPS is also calling for the re-establishment of an implant register, the reclassification of dermal dillers as medicines and revalidation and mystery shopping in CE marking.

The cosmetic surgery industry has pushed back, acknowledging that some advertising has reached "inappropriate" levels, but that a total ban on cosmetic surgery  advertising is unnecessary. Banning advertisements that provide economic incentives to consumers might be an area of mutual agreement, said Sally Taber of Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, an organization that advocates on behalf of the cosmetic surgery industry.


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