Marketing for cosmetic surgery

Marketing is a vital part of business operation to maximize benefits, especially for service providing business. However, in spite of the extremely large profits marketing brings, is it always so positive a function that it should never be avoided, or even banned? A certain amount of research on the nature of marketing and how it works to affect individuals and businesses has been conducted. However, whether it is always a best way in business remains unclear. Some people argue that because marketing is used as a tool to maximize profit in business, it should be always utilized.

However, some people believe that there should also be negative effects, concerning misleading purchasing behaviors of customers, bringing bad social climates or treating customers. Especially in terms of cosmetic surgery, which has the nature of high risk, high cost of and the sensitive ethical issues, problems of marketing are even more obvious in cosmetic surgery business. Despite of the large benefits marketing could bring to business units, in the field of cosmetic surgery, unethical problems it causes should not be ignored, and thus marketing in cosmetic industry lead to so negative effects that it should be avoided or even banned.

There is no doubt that marketing is a tool to maximize business profits. By marketing, corporates are capable of gaining information about the real market demands, which maximizes profits in two ways – reducing costs and improving the market sales. Although Shields (2011) argues that marketing is not an ideal way to maximize profit since it causes extra expenses, as a matter of fact, it can be a tool to reduce costs in the aspect of the company as a whole. Elliott (2007) reports in his news article that when Kraft Foods faced a depressed market, it tried to improve marketing cost, yet by doing this, it managed to make 1 Ningjie Chen profits and revive from the depression.

In the matter of cosmetic surgery, marketing also brings large profit margin (Spilson, Chung, Greenfield and Walters 2002). One of the reasons is that the knowledge about the markets companies gain enables them to sort out the market segments and design services based on the real demands to eliminate unnecessary producing expenditure. In the aspect of promotion, marketing subtly build up a decent brand image for the services, which provides a potential long-term assets for the companies.

On the other hand, since the products or services produced after marketing research fit the needs better, the sales volume also increases, pulling the profit margin up. Therefore, marketing costs in reality contribute to, rather than hinder the overall costs reduction, and result in larger sales volume, both of which are the reasons for profit maximization. In spite of its contributions of profits, marketing, in the field of cosmetic industry should still be avoided due to the negative effects it brings.

First of all, it is actually not necessary for a normal person to have a cosmetic surgery, but a large amount of cosmetic surgery advertisement is likely to make a false impression on people that cosmetic surgery is so popular that it is even necessary. There are a large number of examples in which women suffer from the harm or failure of cosmetic surgeries. Penny Johnson has suffered from a twitch, pain around her right eye and grimacing, since her cosmetic surgery in 2003; Miss Argentina Solange Magnano, a mother of 2, died of a cosmetic surgery when she was only 38 (Campbell 2011). There are much more examples of harm than these, with the death as the most significant consequence.

“A facelift can lead to a hematoma, or blood clot under the skin, which in 2% to 3% of patients can be dangerous if left untreated. And the risk of a blood clot in your leg, is low here but could be as high as 10% if you have a tummy tuck in somewhere like South Africa or the Far East and then get a long flight back. ” (Campbell 2011) On the other hand, cosmetic surgeries require high cost, which could have been expense 2 Ningjie Chen in other activities that are more meaningful, such as donation, investment and education. According to a survey done by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2011, an eyelid surgery and a face lift cost in average $2741 and $6426 respectively (Webmd. com 2014).

For the reasons above, cosmetic surgery should never be necessary for normal people. Some examples do show the necessity of cosmetic surgeries in specific cases. Marc Summers, a television host, went through a facial plastic surgery because of an accident on a hydroplane and recovered, after which he was able to return to his host career (Mail Online 2012). Lots of people do have to depend on cosmetic surgeries either after accidence or due to their special career requirements, but those are specific cases in which the surgeries are particularly necessary for them.

In this case, active advertising is not necessary since people will have to look for information about the surgeries proactively. However, advertisement of cosmetic surgery showing up in daily life, claiming a low failure rate to public, will mislead normal people who are not necessarily in need to a wrong ideology – cosmetic surgery is popular and safe, which is totally untrue as is discussed above, and thus causes unnecessary consumption of the surgery. Another significant issue that the marketing of cosmetic surgery brings is the ethical problem.

On one hand, the marketing of the cosmetic surgery will cause an unhealthy climate of laying too much stress on appearance but ignoring another more important aspect when judging human – the beauty of heart. Singh (2007) argues that cosmetic surgeries should be necessity rather than luxury, because without a nice appearance, it is possible that people are rejected by decent jobs or potential partners. He also stressed that accidental injuries in the surgery are avoidable and the frequency is low, so they should not be the problem keeping people from chasing beauty through cosmetic surgery.

However, this is totally wrong if the healthy ethos of society is considered. None of decent jobs, partners, friends or happiness 3 Ningjie Chen should depend on nice appearance. Decent jobs should fit those who are capable and intelligent; true love and stable relationship depend on the understanding of each other; happiness lies on the mentality towards life. However, most of the marketing of the cosmetic surgery tends to claim that cosmetic surgery can provide customers a brighter and happier life, which will be a completely contrary situation only if there is just a tiny mistake in the operation.

Such advertising is responsible for the popularity of chasing attractive appearance through surgery and the ethos of ignoring internal elements of successful career and happy life. On the other hand, advertising message of cosmetic surgery may exaggerate the operation safety and the surgical effect. Spilson, Chung, Greenfield and Walters (2002) indicate in their study that 25 percent of the cosmetic surgery advertisement present their promotion image falsely for favorable results, and that 17 percent of the advertisement contained uncertified statements of favorable cases.

Moreover, they also found that since the insurance does not cover the operation, business cannot survive if surgeons do not utilize advertising to appeal to new customers for new deals. Therefore, it can be concluded that the advertisement of cosmetic surgery is not as reliable as it claims. Conclusion Marketing does offer a lot of benefits that lead to a high profit margin for business since it helps companies gain market information to improve their service as well as spread out their brand images.

However, when referring to cases like cosmetic surgery service, case is different. Cosmetic is only necessary for people with specific needs, but not for everyone. For those who are not necessarily in need of cosmetic surgery, the cost of risk and expense is so high that it is not worth trying. However, the large amount of the advertisement will mislead people to overlook the risk and make wrong decisions. For another, much advertisement of cosmetic surgery is unethical. Advertisement of cosmetic surgery disseminates an unhealthy 4 Ningjie Chen ethos of over-evaluating the importance of attractive appearance but overlooking inner beauty.

What’s worse, businessmen attract customers by spreading unreliable information about cosmetic surgery that misguide people to blindly chase external beauty through operations. Thus, marketing of cosmetic surgery should be banned despite of the benefits it is could bring to business. 5 Ningjie Chen Bibliography Campbell, D 2011, ‘The dangers of cosmetic surgery’, The Guardian, 9 February, viewed 27 May 2014, <http://www. theguardian. com/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/09/dangers-cosmetic- surgery>. Lomas, N 2012, ‘Online Ad Survey: Most U. S. Consumers “Annoyed” By Online Ads; Prefer TV Ads To Online; Want Social Media Dislike Button;

And Reckon Most Marketing Is “A Bunch Of B. S. ”’, TechCrunch, 24 October, viewed 27 May 2014, <http://techcrunch. com/2012/10/24/online-ad-survey-most-u-s-consumers-annoyed- by-online-ads-prefer-tv-ads-to-online-want-social-media-dislike-button-and-reckon- most-marketing-is-a-bunch-of-b-s/>. Mail Online 2012. ‘TV star Marc Summers recovering after car accident destroyed half of his face’. Mail Online, 19 August, viewed 27 May 2014, <http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-2190645/TV-star-Marc-Summers- recovering-car-accident-destroys-half-face. html>.

Peattie, K & Peattie, S 2009, ‘Social marketing: A pathway to consumption reduction? ’ Journal of Business Research, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 260–268, viewed 29 April 2014, retrieved from ScienceDirect database. Shields, A 2011, ‘Ethics in Marketing Research, Target Marketing, and Advertising’, Master Thesis, the College of St. Scholastica. Singh, B. P 2007, ‘Cosmetic Surgery Is Necessity Not Luxury’, Internet Journal of Medical Update, vol. 2, no. 1, viewed 27 May 2014, <http://www. akspublication. com/Editorial_Jan-Jun2007_. pdf>.

6 Ningjie Chen Spilson, S, Chung, K, Greenfield, M & Walters, M 2002, ‘Are plastic surgery advertisements conforming to the ethical codes of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? ’ Plastic and reconstructive surgery, vol. 109, no. 3, pp. 1181—1186, viewed 27 May 2014. Webmd. com 2014, ‘Estimated Cosmetic Surgery Costs: Financing Your Plastic Surgery’, viewed 27 May 2014, <http://www. webmd. com/beauty/treatments/financing-your- cosmetic-surgery>. Reflection: When writing this essay, the biggest problem I met is come up with some innovative ideas that are controversial. But I managed to do that by free writing for several minutes, and then a lot of new ideas occurred to me.

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