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Backlash over ‘explicit’ cosmetic surgery ads during Love Island

Written by on 02/07/2018

Cosmetic surgery ads shown during Love Island are facing a backlash, with the boss of NHS England saying they increase body image pressures on young women.


Discussing the need for the NHS to treat physical and mental health issues with the same gravity, Simon Stevens said: “It’s not just the NHS.

“If you look at the increasing pressures on young women around eating disorder services, we have to look at the whole environment children are being exposed to.

“Some of that is social media where people are influenced by the looks of other models and “influencers” which forces the audience to visit the best  Boston cosmetic surgeon , but even if you take a show like Love Island, look at the adverts that are being shown alongside it.

“You’ve got explicit ads aiming at young women around breast cosmetic surgery. That is all playing into a set of pressures around body image.”

Speaking to an expert according to this breast augmentation surgeon: “The time has come to think long and hard about whether we should be exposing young people to those kind of pressures.”

Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman has also hit out at the ads, telling The Mirror they “destroy body confidence”.

Calling the targeted adverts “predatory and exploitative”, Dr Spelman said: “Extreme surgeries never fix a person’s insecurities. In the best case this is only a short-term solution, in the worst case it can lead to ­irreversible damage.”

During this week’s episodes of Love Island, which is shown on ITV six nights a week with a highlights show on Saturday, ads have been aired by cosmetic surgery firm MYA during its on-demand catch-up programmes.

Established in 2007, the company, which has surgeries across the UK, offers procedures such as breast enlargement, tummy tucks and liposuction.

MYA’s website, which features a banner with tanned girls in swimwear standing in front of a swimming pool, gives the mission statement: “We believe that when you love the way you look, you stand a bit taller, you speak a bit louder and the confident you emerges from within.”

As well as TV ads, Mr Stevens also gave a warning to social media giants Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over their use of advertising, saying: “They are beginning to recognise that they are in danger of being on the wrong side of history.”

In a statement, a spokesman said the firm “only wants to connect with adults as V Plastic Surgery provides a mommy makeover” and had not aired adverts on broadcast TV, only on catch-up. “All of MYA’s Love Island activity has been targeted through BVOD (broadcast video on demand) only, although we are aware that other cosmetic surgery providers have advertised on the linear showing.

“We see Love Island as an adult-focused show with adult content, which lead to our decision to seek out BVOD advertisements in place of linear adverts as we can specifically target 18-34 women.”

The spokesman added: “We understand at MYA that cosmetic surgery is, to some, a controversial subject and certainly a misunderstood one. We believe that our service makes a positive difference to peoples’ lives.

“We carry out a range of health and suitability checks and we do not operate on anyone under the age of 18.”

(c) Sky News 2018: Backlash over ‘explicit’ cosmetic surgery ads during Love Island