Sunday, 22 January 2012

Advertising isn't the cause of dodgy boob jobs - why ban it?


Apparently the boob job industry is a pretty big one. And we have a scandal as thousands of women were given what turned out to be faulty implants. It would appear that (as is often the case) the fault isn't self-obsessed women and greedy doctors but advertising:

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), which represents the top plastic surgeons, is urging ministers to impose the advertising ban as part of a crackdown on the multi-million pound cosmetic surgery industry. 

You see folks, BAAPS (an acronym of which Peter Simple would have been proud) don't advertise! Oh no, these men are more discrete. And advertising is queering their pitch:

Fazel Fatah, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president, said: "In no other area of surgery would one encounter Christmas vouchers and two-for-one offers.

"No other kind of surgery is advertised. You don't see adverts for metal hip replacements or gall bladder operations. Advertising in cosmetic surgery feeds into the worries and insecurities in a group of vulnerable people."

So rather than working gently through the euphemisms of the the medical profession's market-fix on cosmetic surgery, women are buying from bright and shiny advertising. The problem is that the fault doesn't lie with the advertising, it lies with the doctors (and trust me, folks, the men doing the operations on those "dodgy" clinics are doctors) who prefer making cash to selling a safe product.

However, Fazel Fatah really isn't any different - rather than have an open accessible market for what is (in all but a few cases) a luxury, this surgeon wants a world where cosmetic surgery isn't advertised. One wonders why given that Mr Fatah works for a profit-making cosmetic surgery business?

Is it because such controls reduce access to the market and allow the 40% of cosmetic surgeons who belong to BAAPS to charge higher prices, prevent new entrants to a lucrative market and corner the market for medical rather than aesthetic work?

Advertising isn't the problem - even tacky post-divorce promotions or two for the price of one offers. The problem is that some people thought it OK to offer lower quality products and no-one was checking on this or ensuring the customer had the information she needs.

But then that wouldn't suit Mr Fatah's business now would it?



manwiddicombe said...

Call me obtuse if you like but 2 for 1 offers on a boob job? There can't be many women who only get one breast enhanced ......

Twenty_Rothmans said...

I would place the Federation of United National British Aesthetic General Surgeons along with tattoo 'artists'.

I hasten to add that some women do require some help after suffering from cancer, or to correct a natural 'imbalance'. In these cases, the surgery provides a genuine improvement in the quality of life of the patient.

Quite what role advertising has to play in convincing someone to have voluntary, and utterly unnecessary surgery, is neither here nor there. It's not as though you wake up one morning, see a boobjob advert, and think 'Yes, I'll dash out for that during lunch'.

Mr Fatah can whine all he wants, but in the unhappy event that Mrs 20 required this sort of treatment, I'd take counsel from someone I trusted, and not use a Groupon voucher.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Except for the fact that the EU had certified the 'dodgy' implants as safe. Blame where it belongs and all that.

Anonymous said...

Blaming everything someone doesn't like on advertising, packaging, sponsorships or whatever bit of corporate communication is in someone's crosshairs is getting to be a lot like banning whatever one doesn't like and saying it's for the children. It's all just an excuse and a cover-up of what someone's real intentions probably are.

Anonymous said...

I think your comments are highly un called for? who are you to make such judgements on the BAAPS and its surgeons? do you research, think carefully before spouting such irresponsible nonsense. You have no idea.clearly