Calls for the government to prohibit cosmetic surgery advertising, led by the reputable British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS),seems to have found favour with personal injury lawyers.
There has been mounting disapproval regarding the perceived recklessness of cosmetic surgery advertisements. Fazel Fatah, the BAAPS president, recently stated that the recent proposals are designed to prevent surgeons from “taking advantage” of “vulnerable” consumers who often seek surgery due to psychological problems. In modern society, there is thought to be greater pressure on people to look a certain way, perpetuated by the images seen in magazines and on TV programmes.
Having previously argued for a comprehensive ban on all cosmetic surgery advertising, the BAAPS has settled tempered its objectives but still hopes to outlaw any advertising aimed at non-adults. In addition, it hopes to ban promotional offers which are more suitable to buying tins of baked beans at the supermarket [such as loyalty cards and ‘buy one get one free’ offers] which encourage consumers to undergo multiple surgical procedures.
However, whilst personal injury solicitors have reacted positively to the plans, others have been less admiring. Some surgeons have argued that the real problem lies with the lack of regulation of cosmetic surgeries themselves, which the BAAPS proposals fail to address.
In light of the recent PIP implants scandal, two of the UK’s leading cosmetic surgery providers, the Harley Medical Group and Transform, claimed that tighter regulation of the profession was of paramount importance. In response, the government ordered a review of the entire cosmetic surgery industry and the EU has also suggested that it would tighten regulation.
There are far too many rogue cosmetic surgery firms with little regulation who are taking advantage of susceptible members of the public. Both advertising and the regulation of surgeries should, surely, be addressed by the government in order to build upon the good work done by the BAAPS and prevent any further unwanted scandals.