ASA rules against trivialising overseas plastic surgery in Turkey

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has passed rulings against two Turkish hospitals after it was determined they were promoting overseas surgery irresponsibly.

The first Turkey hospital group posted Facebook adverts stating, ‘Health and vacation together in the Turkish holiday centre Kusadasi [heart eyes emoji] Professional hospital, professional doctors…’ and ‘[sun emoji] Summer sale [parasol emoji] [present emoji] 3-zone facial botox […] Transactions included in the Mommy Makeover package: tummy tuck, breast surgery, liposuction’.

The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) challenged whether the advert was promoting a medical procedure as a ‘vacation’, thus trivialising the medical nature of cosmetic surgery. They said the use of the ‘Summer sale’ was also applying time pressure to patients, and was therefore irresponsible. Advertising ‘botox’ is also against the ASA guidelines.

The hospital group declined to respond to the ASA enquiry. The ASA upheld all claims against them, stating they had broken the CAP Code’s requirement to uphold a ‘sense of responsibility to consumers and to society’ by trivialising the procedures in question. The hospital has been told the ads must not be circulated again, and that any future advertising must be ‘socially responsible’.

The second case saw a Turkish hotel promoted Brazilian Butt Lifts and liposuction as part of a ‘New Year Campaign’, which the complainant stated trivialised surgical procedures. The ASA also stated that the adverts failed to mention the consultations required before surgery can take place, and exaggerated the procedures’ transformative capabilities by including images of a full-body transformation.

The hospital declined to respond to the ASA enquiry. It ruled, again, that the hospital had associated surgery with a holiday in the advertising, which detracted from the seriousness of the procedures in question. It ruled that the advertisements did not sufficiently outline the complexity or duration of the surgeries. The adverts cannot appear in the same format again, and any further promotion should not promote surgery trivially.

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