At their annual conference held in London this year, The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) announced that they have drafted and submitted a new, strict advertising code to the CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) which sets out policies for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). According to BAAPS this new code is to protect the public, particularly young people from unethical practices.

We support the GMC guidelines for Good Medical Practice and Ethical Advertising. The ASA needs the guidance to stop unethical advertising which trivialises Cosmetic Surgery and Treatments. There is nothing wrong with informative advertising which allows patients to make informed choices.

Although we agree with some of the points made by BAAPS, namely a call to ban incentives for surgery and money-off incentives, we feel that some of the policies are unjustified and un-workable. In our opinion, trying to ban advertising in public places where children can see the advertisements and prohibiting use of seasonal wordings such as ‘Summer body’, is taking things too far and is too controlling and is impossible to regulate. It is also patronising to label specific groups such as women after pregnancy or brides to be as ‘vulnerable’.

We take every step to support the ASA in our marketing and advertising, and always act in the best interests of all our patients and we feel that BAAPS need to review their code.

If you would like to read more about the Advertising code please view the article online.