UK bans 'irresponsible' adverts for Turkish cosmetic surgery clinics

Advertising Standards Authority says advertisements posted on Facebook 'trivialised' the risks of cosmetic surgery

A woman has a bandage applied to her nose. Getty Images
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Advertisements run by three cosmetic clinics in Turkey have been banned in the UK for “irresponsibly trivialising” the decision to go abroad for surgery.

“Are you ready to unleash your inner beauty, dear friend? Look no further than AsproMED, your trusted partner in the realm of medical tourism! Let us guide you towards the path of radiant transformation!” read one advertisement seen in May.

The advertisement showed a picture of a woman holding a balloon while she pointed to her midsection, with a smaller illustration of a gastric balloon inside a stomach, while text underneath stated: “4, 5 Stars Hotel + Travel to Istanbul + Professional Team.”

Another image featured the Istanbul city skyline, with the Hagia Sophia and several boats in front of it.

The advertisement, for ClinicHaus Health, featured the caption: “Rhinoplasty surgery, one of the most successful doctors in the world … Fill out the form now for the big summer campaign VIP transfer 5-star package Holiday in the most beautiful city in the world.”

An advertisement for Erdem Clinic stated: “Don’t let your nose overshadow your face. Get the look you dream of with Nose Job treatment. Choose to be the greater beauty that you can be.” Additional text offered up to 30 per cent discounts on combined operations.

The Advertising Standards Authority investigated the advertisements, all paid for on Facebook and seen in May, for making irresponsible claims and omitting information about the need for medical pre-consultations.

The AsproMed and Erdem clinics did not respond to the announcement of the Asa’s investigations.

ClinicHaus Health said it had legal certification and authorisation from the Turkish government and that, as part of the medical tourism industry, it offered summer deals from time to time.

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Meta, which owns Facebook, said it did not have any comment on the advertisements.

“We know that consumers are increasingly looking at going abroad for cosmetic surgery due to cost or ease of access and, while many people may be happy with the results, there are still inherent risks,” an Asa spokesman said.

“That’s why it’s so important that ads for these services aren’t misleading or irresponsible, and why this is a high priority area for the Asa.

“Advertisers targeting people in the UK need to ensure that they’re following the code, even if the service isn’t based here.

“They mustn’t trivialise the decision to get cosmetic surgery or put people under pressure to take up time limited offers.

“They should also make clear the need for a pre-consultation, including where it will take place.

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation, with more investigations under way, and we’re preparing further regulatory action for the near future.”

Updated: September 26, 2023, 11:49 PM