Ads for Lap-Band surgery banned by FDA over failure to warn of risks of stomach-restricting procedure
Federal health officials have issued warnings to eight surgical centres and an advertising firm in California for misleading advertisements promoting the Lap-Band, a stomach restricting device usedto treat obesity.
The Food and Drug Administration says advertisements by the centres and marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN do not provide essential information about the risks and side effects of Lap-Band implantation.
Specifically,the FDA says the risk information on the companies” print advertisements and billboards is so small that it may be unreadable.
Misleading: Lap-Band ads have been seen at events, on billboards and on buses. The company has been warned against withholding information about risks
Companies will have 15 business days to correct the advertisements.
In February the FDA expanded approval for the Lap-Band to patients who are obese.
The device had previously only been available for patients with morbid obesity, which means a body mass index of 40 or higher.
It is not the first time the company has attracted criticism. A surgeon was placed under review in February after a second patient died following the drastic weightloss surgery, while there is a whole Facebook group dedicated to “hating” the 1-800 billboards.
In similar style, the UK”s advertising watchdog last week reprimanded an Edinburgh-based cosmetic surgery clinic for its misleading ads targeted at teenage girls.
Styled to imitate a glossy magazine cover, the ad replaced the instantly-recognisable “Cosmopolitan” banner with the word “Cosmetic,” while shouting how “boob jobs” are cheaper than many may presume, reports Guardian.
A teenage girl wearing a bandeau bikini top is featured on the faux magazine cover, alongside the words “same day surgery…get more pay less.”
The ASA said the ad “conveyed the message that breast surgery was a straightforward, risk-free lifestyle decision.”
Placed at city bus-stops, the “irresponsible” ads could be viewed by all who passed them and were “likely to be seen as trivialising breast enhancement surgery.”
The company behind the ads said they were not given clearance and should have not appeared in public.