This year has been a great one for the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority. On a ban-happy high, they’ve forbidden ads left and right, from Dakota Fanning’s Marc Jacobs ad to an ad featuring a “too skinny” model in a bikini. Just when you thought the ban police were finito, the ASA finds yet another ad to be unhappy with.
This time, the ASA banned a plastic surgery advertisement because it “slyly targets young, impressionable girls.” The ad looks like a magazine cover with the word “COSMETIC” across the top in neon print, looking nearly identical to a top magazine — Cosmopolitan. In colorful pink and aqua, the ad promotes “BOOB JOBS” and “SAME DAY SURGERY” with the tagline, “get more, pay less!”
The posters have been scattered around at different bus stops throughout London. They were a part of a new campaign sparked by Spire Healthcare promoting a same-day plastic surgery service at one of its 37 private hospitals. Already, the ASA received 10 formal complaints about the ad, eventually ruling that it “conveyed the message that breast surgery was a straightforward, risk-free lifestyle decision” for young, impressionable girls. [via Huffington Post]
While the ASA definitely seems to have a banning addiction, I do agree with the decision. The posters look like a magazine that teens would pick up. The girl on the poster herself can’t be more than 18, early 20s at oldest. Young women might see this girl around their age featured on an ad that looks like the cover of a magazine, and think, “Maybe that’s what I need to do to be considered beautiful.” I don’t believe that the healthcare service shouldn’t be able to advertise their surgeries. They just have to consider a better way to do it, one that doesn’t look like a magazine for teens. That’s just my take.
Sidenote: I now seriously wonder how much money ASA workers get paid per pulled ad? Maybe they have to make a quota of banned ads by the end of each fiscal year or something, because they have really gone ban-crazy. This ad I can see getting pulled. A teen posing on a train track, not so much.
What do you think of the ASA’s decision? Are they a little too ban-happy these days, or do their decisions actually make sense?