Cosmetic surgery firm Transform has still not learned the error of its ways after being hauled up by the ad watchdog yet again, this time over a TV campaign which exploited new mums’ insecurities about their bodies by urging them to have a boob job.
The ad featured the “real-life” story of a young mother, who said she had used breast enhancement surgery as a way to return to her pre-pregnancy figure.
The female voiceover stated: “We had our little girl and she’s our world, getting back in shape was really hard. I lost the weight but I lost my chest too. I just thought, I’m gonna do something about it. So I had breast surgery with Transform. It’s not something I think about now. I just get on and enjoy my life and I love being able to wear what I want.”
Four viewers who believed that the ad exploited the insecurities of new mothers about their body image, triggered an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority.
In response, Transform argued that the ad did not persuade people towards an unachievable or aspirational aesthetic. It stated that it was a natural occurrence that some women would experience a loss of volume or shape in their breasts after pregnancy, but that they did not claim at any point that breast surgery was the solution to those who experienced body changes when they became a new mother.
However, the ASA ruled that the TV spot “would encourage other new mothers to think about and dwell on their own insecurities about their bodies”.
It added: “We considered that new mothers who had recently given birth and experienced significant changes in their body shape could be particularly vulnerable to a breast enhancement surgery ad directed at them. We considered that by directing the ad at new mothers and focusing on the negative perception a new mother had of her body after giving birth, the ad was likely to have exploited new mothers’ insecurities about their bodies.”
Banning the ad on the grounds that it was socially irresponsible, the watchdog warned Transform about its future conduct when targeting potentially vulnerable groups such as new mothers.
This is the third complaint about Transform TV ads in the past 18 months; in July 2016 it was rapped for suggesting that young girls could gain popularity and feel more confident if they had a breast enlargement. However, the firm did escape censure in October last year over an ad which included “busty” scenes of a young woman.
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