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24 February 2015

Malaysia’s Medical Tourism Association “makes a boob” in latest ad ban


Uh oh – Malaysian-based Medical Tourism Association is the latest in the firing line from UK advertising watchdog ASA with its latest poster campaign having been banned for “trivialising” cosmetic surgery.

The ad in question (see below) had been displayed in motorway service stations and shopping centres across the UK – it basically encourages tourists to fly to Malaysia for breast enhancement surgery and highlights the point that “‘Boob job’ is the most popular cosmetic procedure for women”.

The ad also states that “Malaysia is proud to be amongst one of the only countries within the region where medical tourism is promoted by the government. Hence medical tourists can have the assurance of quality care and be guided by the regulation, safety standards and the governing laws within this industry. Our private hospitals bagged three out of nine awards at the international Medical Travel Awards 2014.”

Admedia, the agency which booked the media space on behalf of the Medical Tourism Association, said the ad “had not advertised a holiday due to the absence of pricing, tourist or accommodation information nor did it include an option to sign up for a cosmetic procedure”, adding that “the ad was informative and promoted safety and high standards, demonstrated by examples of internationally recognised awards”.

However, the ASA has spoken and ruled that the ad’s main focus was medical tourism for breast augmentation, and this emphasis “was likely to detract from the seriousness of the surgery offered”.

It said that the posters “could be interpreted as suggesting that surgery was a decision that could be undertaken lightly, without serious consideration of the nature of the intervention. We therefore concluded the overall presentation of the ad was likely to be seen as trivialising breast enhancement surgery.”

Boob ad

Result: Banned.


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