A controversial advertisement about the benefits of breast implants for mums has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority on the grounds of exploiting new mothers over their body insecurities.
The ad by Transform, a cosmetic surgery centre based in Manchester, has created a debate for featuring a mother who talks about getting breast implant done at the clinic in order to get back to her pre-pregnancy shape.
"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," Lou Newton, mum to a six-year-old daughter, says in the ad. "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," she adds.
After receiving complaints, the ASA took the clip down citing it as an "irresponsible" advertisement that makes the new mothers feel vulnerable about the physical changes they experience after giving birth. In a statement, the organisation said: '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."
However, the cosmetic surgery giant responded to the controversy by saying that it uses genuine stories of mothers who received breast transplant at their clinic.
A spokesperson for the company told IB Times UK: "Transform has contested the Advertising Standards Authority's decision. In our response to the ASA, we said that the advert was based purely on Lou's own, personal experience and therefore there was no suggestion that her experience would be a solution for all new mothers, nor did it trivialise the decision to undergo surgery. We are therefore disappointed by the ASA's decision, and have made this clear to the organisation.
"Transform believes that patients should think carefully before having cosmetic surgery and do it for their own, independent reasons.
"We believe it is right to celebrate patients' stories and journeys, which are often life-changing for the better."
In its official website, Transform has also a full-page testimony by Newton which reads: "You really can't underestimate the power of feeling good and what it can do for you. When you feel good on the outside you feel good on the inside. I really do believe that now and I never felt that way before my operation." She further adds: "The effect of feeling good on the outside and having a good experience really does make you embrace everything around you. You feel happy, you feel lifted and you feel that you have got back to yourself. Sometimes having a child means you lose a bit of yourself and in a way, Transform gave me that back."
(This article has been updated to include the official statement from Transform).