An advert for breast surgery was today rapped for promoting the operation as “easy”.
The Harley Medical Group’s posters on the London Underground showed a bikini-clad woman before and after her breast enlargements.
A third poster said: “Gorgeous breasts just got easy with cosmetic surgery...”
The adverts drew complaints, including one from a doctor, from people who thought promoting surgery as “easy” was irresponsible.
After an investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the posters in breach of advertising rules.
It said readers could infer the procedure was easy, risk-free and did not require independent medical advice.
“Because we understood that surgery always carried a risk to the patient, we concluded that, by promoting a surgical operation as ’easy’, the approach was irresponsible and misleading,” the watchdog said.
The ASA told The Harley Medical Group not to repeat the advert in its current form.
Responding to the investigation, The Harley Medical Group said the word ’easy’ described the consultation process and their offer of flexible finance.
All patients had at least three consultations prior to surgery, the group said.
The Harley Medical Group did not believe the advert was misleading nor irresponsible but agreed not to repeat the “easy” claim in future.
The ASA rejected other complaints from people who thought the adverts implied larger breasts made women happier and from people who believed the ’after’ picture had been digitally enhanced.
According to its websites, the The Harley Medical Group is one of the UK and Republic of Ireland’s leading cosmetic surgery groups with 18 clinics nationwide.
The Harley Medical Group’s clinic director Jenny O’Neil said: “The word ’easy’ had never been used before in our advertising and was used to demonstrate how our patient care, offered by our specially trained cosmetic surgery nurse counsellors, help patients understand the pros and cons of each procedure, exactly what will be involved, as well as the post-operative recovery period they should expect.
“All of our patient communication underlines that cosmetic surgery operations are serious procedures and as soon as it was brought to our attention that ’easy’ was being rather differently interpreted, we took the immediate decision to withdraw the limited-run Tube advertisements.”