Although only one person complained about the advert, the ASA determined that the potential negative impact on viewers, particularly young women, were too great to allow the ad to run. That Pommie Girl, better known as Sarah Ashcroft, says: “I feel like a new person from having nothing to then looking at yourself with boobs.
“It was the weirdest thing because then everyone was like ‘wow, they look so natural I’m so impressed’. And to come away from it feeling 10 times more confident than you were I think is just an amazing feeling.”
Since the advert features a video blogger who is very popular with teenage girls, it was determined that it would be harmful to under 18s. A representative of the ASA said: “We considered that viewers would nevertheless infer from Ms Ashcroft’s emphasis on her personal transformation and the degree of confidence she said she had gained that her popularity and success as a fashion blogger had been, in part, a result of cosmetic surgery.”
This isn’t the first advert to come under fire for concerns over irresponsible advertising. In 2015, an advert for cosmetic surgery in Malaysia that cropped up in motorway service stations across the UK was banned. The ASA determined that the advert ‘trivialised’ breast enhancement surgery. In 2012, there were widespread calls for a ban on cosmetic surgery advertising, supported by The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
There is a concern that profit is being placed over patient well-being, and that cosmetic surgeons are trivialising major procedures. Earlier this year, The General Medical Council determined that cosmetic surgeons should not be allowed to offer prizes and promotions on surgery after determining they are “socially irresponsible”. This came in the wake of the PIP breast implants scandal which left thousands with faulty breast implants and led to an increase in breast implant claims.
What’s important to remember is that cosmetic surgery is a life-changing decision, and anyone considering it should have the emotional support and up-to-date information to make an informed decision.