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How medicine sells the media

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 13 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:924
  1. Melissa Sweet, freelance journalist who specialises in covering health and medicine in Australia

    As the world grappled with the aftermath of September 11, the cosmetic surgery industry in Australia was quick to recognise a marketing opportunity.

    Collagen Australia, whose parent company is the US-based Inamed Corp, issued a news release late last year claiming that business was booming for cosmetic surgeons in the wake of the disaster. The release began memorably: “Once, when a woman was down in the dumps, she bought a hat. More recently, she went out and bought a bright lipstick. These days, however, when economic times are tough and the future uncertain and she wants to cheer herself up, she plumps up her lips or has her wrinkles removed.”

    A cosmetic plastic surgeon was quoted as saying that many patients had put overseas holidays on hold because they were concerned about air travel and were choosing to have cosmetic surgery instead of a holiday. “People are saying they want …

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