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Swedish MP brassed off over boob job advert

Patrick Reilly · 12 Dec 2014, 15:21

Published: 12 Dec 2014 12:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Dec 2014 15:21 GMT+01:00

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For weeks in the southern city of Malmö, heads have been turned to see advertisements promoting breast surgery dotted across the city, including the central train station. 

With a scantily clad woman in the background the advert stated that breast implants were available for an introductory price of 32,000 kronor ($4,200) together with a free consultation. It was even accompanied with a 'Thanks Malmö' message by the company that wanted to extend its gratitude to the public for giving it business.

However, one man who was brassed off with the adverts was local Green Party politician Rasmus Ling. He told The Local that he was appalled by the flesh friendly advert, which features a woman sporting a smile in a white bikini.

"It's degrading. The advert sends out a message to all women who pass that they should change their bodies with a risky operation. It's not a procedure for medical purposes, just to please a cosmetic motive," said Ling. 

The tax policy spokesperson for the Greens was particularly annoyed that the adverts were on display in the main train station as it is run by the state owned Jernhusen organization.

"Travellers shouldn't have to see such adverts. What this advert is saying to women is 'if you don't look like me, then you should change yourself to look more like me.' If people want to find information about cosmetic surgery there are plenty of other places to do so." 

Jernhusen, which also runs train stations in Stockholm and Gothenburg, have stated that the adverts comply with regulations and that they had no intention to censor it.

"Plastic surgery isn't an illegal enterprise and should reasonably have the same right to market its services as any other company would," Ann Hermansson, marketing manager of Jernhusen told the Sydsvenskan paper.

The Green Party MP was unhappy with that explanation and has said he will take the matter up further with Per Bolund, who is the current minister for financial markets and consumer affairs in the Social Democrat/Green coalition government.

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"I'm planning to speak to minister as he is responsible for the issue and the Jernhusen organization. He may be in a position to give other directives," said Lind. 

Meanwhile a Danish plastic surgeon behind the campaign has said the politician's reaction to the advert was over the top. He stated that an even risqué campaign would be shipped over the border.

"In Denmark the breast is completely naked. The next step is to advertise like that in Sweden too," Jesper Nygart said.

Across the border Nygart has been running ads on public buses in Copenhagen since 2007 that feature a pair of surgically-enhanced breasts without a thread of clothing to obscure the surgeon’s work. Although the ads have led to spirited public debate in the past, they have remained a mainstay and now hardly raise an eyebrow with the natives in Denmark. 
For example the controversial advert in Malmö is far tamer than the clinic’s Danish bus ads (to say nothing of the video stunt the clinic pulled that featured a naked woman strutting through Copenhagen - see it here.)
Ling added to The Local that he had particular issue with cosmetic surgery but that his beef was more to do with how this particular advert was being communicated to the public in Malmö.
"Personally I have no opinions about what people choose to do with their own bodies. What I don't like is adverts and commercials which promote unachievable ideals and which may inspire young women and girls with mental illnesses." 
The Nygart group has surgeries in Malmö as well as in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Lyngby in Denmark. On its website the company states that it is a private hospital that specialises in cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic treatments.  

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Patrick Reilly (news@thelocal.se)

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