n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Legal aspects with regard to plastic surgeons in context of commercial advertising




Commercial advertising plays a very important role with regard to the promotion of goods and services by plastic surgeons that are available in the market. However, the practice of commercial advertising is being distorted to such an extent that people engage in misleading advertising. This includes plastic surgeons that provide misleading and false information in their advertisement campaigns with the sole aim of drawing the public to their respective practices. This can put members of the public in great danger and it is clear that the practice of commercial advertising is used inappropriately by some suppliers of goods and services.

The purpose of this article is to look at the role of commercial advertising in the field of plastic surgery. Specific focus is placed on the extent to which plastic surgeons market their services and the impact of such advertising on the public. Focus is placed on the manner in which bodies such as the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Association for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa (APRSSA) influence advertising by plastic surgeons, as well as the type of sanctions imposed by these bodies when plastic surgeons - through their advertising - contravene the law. Mention is also made of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). In addition, reference is made to the Consumer Protection Act, which plays a very important role in regulating the conduct of surgeons who engage in advertising. Despite the risks and complexities, plastic surgery remains a very important medical practice with advantages that are changing the lives of people for the better all over the world.


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