“Irresponsible” ad banned for playing on new mum body worries

The advert for breast enhancement surgery was described as "exploiting new mothers' insecurities" by the Advertising Standards Agency

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An advert for a cosmetic surgery company has been banned in its original form from television after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld complaints that it exploits the body insecurities of new mums.

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The promo features a genuine mum Lou Newton saying: 

“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.”

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‘New mums could be particularly vulnerable to this ad’

ASA ruled that the ad in its original form cannot be aired, saying:

“We were concerned that the ad’s focus on the negative perception the mum had of her body after childbirth would encourage other new mothers to think about and dwell on their own insecurities about their bodies.

“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. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.” 

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Transform, for whom the ad was made, told Huffington Post that they are contesting the decision, saying it was based around a real confessional from a mum, and that they very much emphasised the line: “I did it for me” throughout.

Perhaps the fact that this “I did it for me” line was then accompanied by the line “Do it for you” emphasises the idea that it’s something that new mums should be doing. 

What does the public think?

Comments have been mixed – one person didn’t see what the big deal was, saying: “I’ve watched the advert and this ruling seems unduly harsh.

“If you are no longer allowed to mention peoples’ insecurities in advertising, then how do adverts for perfumes, skincare products, deodorants, life insurance and gyms manage to dodge the ASA?”

Though others took a different a view: “[This ad] absolutely suggests that post pregnancy and breast feeding boobs are inadequate and something that would make you want to hide your body.

“New mums are often emotional and vulnerable and shouldn’t have that message conveyed. Even the idea that you should fight to regain a pre-pregnancy shape shouldn’t be imposed.

“Your ribs and pelvis shift, it’s a natural alteration.”

What do you think?

Should the decision to ban this ad be upheld? Or do you agree with commenter who suggested singling this ad out compared to those for other beauty products seems a bit unfair?

Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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