Risks of breast enhancement 'don't come across in a one minute advert' says plastic surgeon

Breast implants

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A plastic surgeon has said he supports the ban on an advert for breast enhancement surgery shown during ITV reality show Love Island, claiming the risks of surgery "don't come across" in the one minute clip.

The ads for MYA Cosmetic Surgery showed a group of women dancing and laughing around a pool and has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being "irresponsible and harmful".

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons council member, Ash Mosahebi, told talkRADIO's Mike Graham that the advert suggests that getting breast enhancement surgery makes you "part of the club" and eliminates "worries in the future".

"Essentially it's the context of the advert. They're putting it in the Love Island programme within the breaks. That together with the ad gives the impression to be part of the club, have a fantastic life and have no worries in the future, breast enhancement surgery would be the answer, which is not correct," he said.

"Plastic surgery is an amazing, life changing thing to have done in the right patient counselled properly, and not coerced to have it done for incorrect reasons."


'Paint as rosy a picture as possible'

A screenshot of the advert. Image: PA

Mr Mosahebi added it was a "free society" but the ad did not portray breast enhancement surgery realistically.

"There are risk elements to it and that has to come across. Obviously in a one minute advert you're going to paint as rosy a picture as possible.

"There are people who have breast asymmteries, uneven breasts, who are embarassed by it.

"Even if they do it purely for aesthetic reasons they have been counselled by an ethical plastic surgeon that has told them what risks and benefits they can get from it, whereas that doesn't come across in a one minute advert."

The surgeon added that he and colleagues have previously had patients asking for treatments to replicate the "particular assets" of Love Island cast members.


MYA's response

MYA released a statement on their website saying they "disagreed" with the ASA, but would "not appeal their decision".

"We understand at MYA that cosmetic surgery is, to some, a controversial subject and certainly a misunderstood one," they said.

"We believe that our services make a positive difference to peoples’ lives. We carry out a range of health and suitability checks and we do not operate on anyone under the age of 18. Of course, no surgery is without risk and we explain this in detail as well as giving cooling off periods for the patient to further reflect."

The company continued: "This creative has been running for 15 months.

"It aired 36,542 times and had over 132.5 million views. Although we would rather not have any complaints, the proportion and number is small in this context, and the timing appears to have been linked to the attention from the TV show Love Island."

MYA said it was currently reaching out to a mental health organisation who was involved in a complaint against the advert to "seek their input and thoughts" for their next campaign.