A radio ad for a cosmetic surgery company, which featured a woman apologising for showing off her new body and used the line, “as they say ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’,” has been slashed by the ad watchdog for trivialising the procedure.
In the ad, which was created in-house by Glasgow-based Cosmedicare, a woman reads an apologetic letter which she had written to a bar owner.
The voice-over stated: “Dear Sir, apologies for Saturday night’s incident at your fine establishment. To explain, I had to show off my new Cosmedicare body because as they say: ‘If you’ve got it; flaunt it’. So I did, with a belly dance, on your bar. I’ll pay for the damage and would love to apologise in person to that gorgeous bartender of yours, wherever he’s recovering?”
The ad finished with a voice-over that stated: “For your free cosmetic surgery consultation, 3D scan and price promise quote see Cosmedicare.uk. Cosmedicare what will the new you do?”
A single complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, which questioned whether the ad exploited young people’s insecurities about their bodies triggered an investigation.
In its defence, Cosmedicare said the radio ad was intended to be a light-hearted, anecdotal scenario about a woman who felt good after having cosmetic surgery done.
They firm pointed out that no specifics about the type of surgery were given and that the ad was not directed at any specific demographic. Cosmedicare did not believe that the ad had the capacity to exploit young people’s insecurities about their bodies and they said their only intention was to dramatise the transformational benefits that cosmetic surgery could have for some people.
However, while the ASA acknowledged the tone of the ad was light-hearted, it considered the impulsive behaviour featured served to trivialise the seriousness of a decision to undergo any such procedure.
It ruled that the ad “went beyond presenting the actions of a woman who had cosmetic surgery in a positive light and implied that she only felt able to behave as described in the ad and enjoy a new lifestyle because she felt more confident and attractive after undergoing cosmetic surgery”.
Banning the ad, the watchdog ruled the commercial risked playing on young people’s insecurities about their bodies, particularly young women and teenage girls, adding that the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery was suggested to be something that could be undertaken lightly.
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