ITV CEO to 'review' Love Island plastic surgery ads policy

Love Island has significantly increased ITV's share of 16- to 34-year-old viewers by a fifth / ITV

ITV's chief executive Carolyn McCall has called an internal review into whether ads for cosmetic surgery were appropriately aired in between episodes of channel's summer smash hit Love Island.

Amid pressure from health experts on the broadcaster to stop showing ads promoting diet pills and breast augmentation during on-demand viewings of the popular show, McCall said that while the promotions met current broadcaster standards ITV was set to evaluate the decision schedule them during Love Island.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday (25 June), she said: "There were a tiny number of ads where I would have thought the juxtaposition was not quite right so we’re very sensitive to that.

"We are highly regulated. We’re regulated for advertising content and for all our content, so we have done nothing wrong. It’s more about about our judgment, so we are monitoring and working on that."

She added that her own judgment was that the ads shown to catch-up viewers on ITV's Hub service "may not have been quite right".

“We are looking at that and we will take our own action," she said.

Earlier this week, the Adversiting Standards Authority (ASA) revealed it was poised to meet with the NHS to discuss whether current regulations are doing enough to protect young people from ads that could fuel body insecurity.

The talks will follow on from a letter penned by the NHS England's mental health director, Claire Murdoch, to ASA chief executive Guy Parker expressing concern that the promotions served around shows like Love Island could be fueling body insecurities among teens.

Recent research from feminist campaign group Level Up found that 40% of women who watch the show feel more self-conscious about their body image afterwards.

Discussing McCall's decision to examine the thinking behind ads for the likes of Transform and Skinny Sprinkles bookending the show, Level Up executive director Carys Afoko said: "We welcome Carolyn McCall’s announcement this morning that ITV is reviewing the placement of cosmetic surgery and diet adverts during Love Island."

She went on: "Thousands of Level Up supporters sent personal messages to ITV about the harm these adverts cause, we are delighted they have listened and are taking responsibility."

Love Island has significantly increased ITV's share of 16- to 34-year-old viewers by one fifth on ITV2 in the first half of 2018.

On average 300,000 viewers watched each episode of Love Island on ITV Hub, with some episodes clocking up as many as 1m streams online.

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