Cosmetic surgery ad ban a victory for mental health

Love islanders

Mental health campaigners complained ads were promoting perfect bodies 

17th October 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Adverts for cosmetic breast enlargement surgery shown during ITV's Love Island has been banned by the advertising watchdog.

The Mental Health Foundation was one of 17 complainants against the adverts claiming it exploited young women's insecurities about their bodies.

Private clinic group MYA ran the adverts, depicting young women posing around a swimming pool and in other glamourous locations with a voiceover saying: “These girls had breast enlargements with MYA and all feel amazing."

The campaign, which was initiated in Scotland, led to an admission from ITV’s chief executive that the juxtaposition of the show and the adverts “may not have been quite right.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed and said the ad must not be shown again.

Isabella Goldie, director at the Mental Health Foundation, said the decision marks a watershed moment for cosmetic surgery advertising.

 “It is important that this advert has been recognised as irresponsible and harmful - the conclusions of this ruling are a step towards tackling the pressure around body image,” she said.  

“We believe that concern around body image is one of the root causes of mental ill health in young people. Our research shows that over half of Scotland’s young people aged 18-24 have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.  

“Implying that people can only enjoy body confidence and an aspirational lifestyle by undergoing cosmetic surgery is dangerous and unacceptable. All of us, including commercial organisations, have a role to play in strengthening our young people’s resilience.”

A full ban on advertising for plastic surgery has been called for by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.