PA -- "Extreme" marketing tactics are being used to sell cosmetic surgery in Britain, including breast operations raffled at a nightclub, experts have warned.
Unproven procedures are being promoted as harmless non-surgical treatments on morning chat shows and discount coupons for nose jobs are being listed alongside offers for cat food, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said.
This year has seen some of the most outlandish sales wheezes to date, delegates at the association's annual scientific meeting heard.
Among these are online deals for surgery that violate an established code of ethics in the industry where time-linked incentives are expressly prohibited, the Birmingham conference was told.
And clinics in Britain are more than twice as likely as those in the US to offer financial incentives such as prize draws, buy-one-get-one-free offers, multi-procedure discounts and rewards such as photo shoots for booking surgery, according to research presented at the event.
BAAPS president Fazel Fatah said: "It has become common to bundle together the practice of aesthetic plastic surgery such as facelifts and breast augmentation alongside beauty treatments such as facials, lasers and injectable fillers under the term 'cosmetic industry'.
"This blurring of lines has encouraged blatantly unethical marketing tactics which trivialise serious surgery, driven by greed and with very little concern for the public's safety."
Consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS president Nigel Mercer added that the profession was legally and ethically bound to put the safety of patients and what is right for them above considerations of profit.
"An aromatherapy massage, a hot air balloon ride and a nose job may all sound like a fun day out to some," he said.
"But these promotions, generally couched in the language and hyperbole of sales and marketing, must not be sold with discount coupons as if they were white goods."