Plastic surgery is a touchy topic in Spain, it seems, to the point that government officials want to limit how much the nation’s youth knows about nips and tucks.
The Spanish government is taking steps to limit what young television viewers know about plastic surgery.
Advertising Age reported that the lower chamber of Spain’s parliament has passed a law forbidding television stations from showing commercials about plastic surgery, diet products and some beauty treatments before 10 p.m. The law is still pending in the upper chamber, but may go into effect during the coming months.
The legislation is aimed at reducing the eating disorders and self-image issues allegedly triggered by ads for beauty products and services, including cosmetic surgery, according to Advertising Age. Evidently, plastic surgery is worse for Spain’s youth than alcohol, which can be advertised after 9 p.m.
“Broadcasters cannot carry advertisements for things that encourage the cult of the body,” the law says, “and have a negative impact on self-image – such as slimming products, surgical procedures and beauty treatments – which are based on ideas of social rejection as a result of one’s physical image or that success is dependent on factors such as weight or looks.”
Beauty and hygiene advertising in Spain – which regularly includes plastic surgery promos – reportedly provided $708 million worth of advertising revenue in 2008. Although cosmetic industry commercials won’t cease to exist, legislators hope that by airing them later at night, their influence may be limited to an older, more mature audience.
“The ban is about product function rather than the content of the communication,” said Alex Pallete of advertising agency LOLA Madrid, which is allied with Injuve, a Spanish government youth institute. “The goal is that no under-18s will be affected by mental issues like anorexia and bulimia. In Spain, people tend to go for non-surgical methods of slimming, like not eating or vomiting, but we have had a lot of immigration from Latin America, where plastic surgery is much more common, and their culture has influenced our culture.”