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Navigating Cosmetic Surgery Advertising: A Brief Insight


Navigating Cosmetic Surgery Advertising: A Brief Insight

In this blog, we aim to give a brief overview of the “Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners Who Advertise Cosmetic Surgery,” which have been effective since the 1st of July, 2023. We will also touch on some of the adaptations that were made and what is being done to abide by these guidelines as we continually move forward.

Who put these guidelines in place?

The guidelines were instituted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), an organization with a primary role, as stated on its website, to protect the public. These guidelines were meticulously crafted to establish standards for ethical and transparent practices in the advertising of cosmetic surgery.

What are the guidelines, and how have we adapted?

Upon the implementation of these guidelines, our practice underwent significant adjustments to ensure strict adherence to the stipulated standards. This comprehensive process involved a meticulous review of our social media and website content, aligning every aspect with the guidelines. Given Dr. Scamp’s extensive social media presence, this process spanned approximately three months.

One significant aspect affected by these changes was the before and after imagery. The guidelines introduced several new requirements, such as ensuring the similarity of images as much as possible. Differences in clothing, jewellery, and makeup between before and after images were deemed to potentially impact the authenticity of the comparison by enhancing the after image.

Caption alterations constituted another vital aspect of our adaptation process. The guidelines necessitated the removal of emojis, and mandated the use of medical terminology alongside colloquial terms; for example; you cannot use the term ‘boob job’ unless it is accompanied by ‘augmentation mammaplasty’. In addition to this, you cannot use non-clinical adjectives like “amazing” and “perfect” to prevent trivializing cosmetic surgery.

Testimonials, reposting patient stories, and engaging with reviews on social media were also restricted. To ensure this is negated on our end, we disabled the option to be tagged in posts and turned the ability to comment on posts across all platforms off. Furthermore, the guidelines dictated that any imagery or videos featuring music, dancing, singing, or comedic comments were not permitted, anything we had of this nature was deleted.

In response to these guidelines, we have redefined our content strategy to prioritize education, aligning with the emphasis on responsible visual content for informative purposes. Our commitment to compliance with these guidelines reflects our dedication to providing valuable information about cosmetic surgery without the need for sensationalized language or imagery.

While navigating these guidelines presented challenges, they underscored a conscientious effort to balance consumer safeguarding with upholding the highest standards in cosmetic surgery advertising. Navigating these guidelines is an ongoing process, highlighting the delicate balance between consumer protection and the practicalities of effective communication.

Our commitment to compliance remains unwavering, serving as a testament to our dedication to ethical medical practice and transparency in the realm of cosmetic surgery. As we move forward, we will continue to evolve our practices in alignment with any updates to these guidelines, ensuring that our communication strategies prioritize the well-being and informed decision-making of our patients.

For those interested in exploring the “Guidelines for Registered Medical Practitioners who Advertise Cosmetic Surgery,” you can find the document on the official AHPRA website or download it directly from here. We encourage all practitioners and patients, to stay informed about these guidelines for a shared commitment to ethical and responsible cosmetic surgery practices.