City tightens rules on plastic surgery advertising

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City tightens rules on plastic surgery advertising

Apgujeong Station is a miniature version of the district it’s located in. The countless cosmetic surgeries that dot the area’s streets can be seen on billboards and posters found within the subway station.

With messages like “Look at my V-line Face” and “S-line curve is not enough,” it’s clear where the district stands on the matter of artificial beauty.

According to the city’s analysis, in and around Apgujeong Station, some 87 ads there have to do with plastic surgery.

Unsurprisingly, the relentless messages telling you that you need to change your looks to be happy make many people uncomfortable.

In response to the staggering numbers, Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to limit the number of cosmetic surgery ads that can be placed in the subway station and on buses.

In particular, before and after pictures, as well as strong keywords, will be banned.

The city government said on March 25 that 237 of the 7,643 ads that fill subway lines 1 to 8, or 3.1 percent, are about plastic surgery.

The ads are particularly plentiful in Sinsa-dong and Apgujeong-dong, accounting for 73 percent of that 237. In Apgujeong-dong, 45 percent of the ads are related to plastic surgery, while in Sinsa-dong they account for 25 percent of the subway and bus ads.

The city has declared that a maximum of 20 percent of ads in one location can be for plastic surgery in future. In areas like Apgujeong-dong, where the ratios are highest, there will be more time to adjust to the new rules.

Before and after ads, which many people have complained about, will be banned, as will expressions like “without anyone knowing” and “get pretty.”

Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation and advertising agencies have been notified.

Lee Wu-ryong from the city’s metro system division said the decision came after ongoing complaints.

“We kept getting complaints from concerned citizens, and we also worried that it wasn’t good for morale,” said Lee on the city’s decision to change the rules on plastic surgery ads.

Interiors of buses, as well as bus stops, will also need to abide by the new guidelines. Currently some 26 bus stops out of the city’s 5,715 feature plastic surgery ads.

In special zones, especially those surrounding elementary, middle and high schools, such ads will be banned altogether.

By Ahn Hyo-sung [carlasunwoo@joongang.co.kr]



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