Thursday, August 18, 2011

Groupon and Reading between the | Frown | Lines

Groupon has invaded South Africa and like in the other countries it has a grip on, aesthetic medicine is a firm favourite among the daily deals. Most people are familiar with this daily coupon deal site. Whether it is legal or not for use in the medical profession is still a grey area. In France and the UK Breast Augmentation, Rhinoplasty and Blepharoplasty are on offer at discounted rates.

Open the daily email to read the product write-up, which is quirky, bizarre and often preposterous. A "Botox" deal was described as “Isaac Newton discovered gravity not when cranially assaulted by a falling apple but upon noticing his sagging jowls while examining the forehead bruise in the mirror. Help reverse the Newtonian burden with today’s Groupon . . .”

The write-up is usually followed by an afterthought which is completely off-kilter and absurd. After the write-up of a pizza deal the following was offered “Food for thought: In the remote villages of Italy, old pizzas are used as Frisbees. When the children run out of amusing foods to throw at each other, they sit and stare at the bus station.”

In terms of marketing medicine there are many restrictions and you cannot directly market a schedule 4 drug like BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA). You can say things like anti-wrinkle injections, cosmetic injections and a whole host of euphemisms. Which some savvy doctors have cottoned on to and avoid using the word Botox in their Groupon adverts (Groupon describes it as Botox in the subject line though). Here is one that popped into my mail box a while ago.

         Save up to 60% on rejuvenating Botulinum Toxin treatments at Dr *not going to say*

Similar to those concentric rings on tree trunks, the lines on your face are pretty good at broadcasting your age to all and sundry. They’re also really good at telling stories about your life, whether it’s a permanently furrowed brow that says you’re a deep thinker or other fine lines that chronicle late nights and possibly embarrassing circumstances. Silence facials informers and save up to 60% on rejuvenating facial treatments at Dr *No Name*.

  • Pay R210 for ten units of Botulinum Toxin, valued at R500 (save 58%)
  • Pay R210 for a 20% chemical peel, valued at R500 (58%)
  • Pay R399 for both treatments, valued at R1000 (save 60%)

Dr *name omitted*specialises in prettification procedures and helping faces to achieve their full potential. Using minimally invasive procedures to sculpt countenances, today’s Groupon holders can rest assured that they’re in safe, skilled and remarkably soft hands.

Using ten units of Botulinum Toxin, Dr *name omitted* can indulge in inverted frown lines, smoothened forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet shooed from the windowsills of their soul. Unlike reading the messages in your significant others inbox while they sleep, Botulinum Toxin is mostly non-invasive and eases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, consisting of quick injections that hurt less than most things that are painful. Bonus points because you don’t have to worry about recovery time.

The other face-rejuvenating solution for shooing away cosmetic nuisances is the 20% glycolic acid chemical peel, because many skin problems are associated with the build-up of clingy dead cells that just don’t know how to let go. This can lead to complexions rougher than a hillbilly hit-man and duller than a beige pantsuit and, working down to the dermis, or living layer, of your skin, the peel stimulates collagen production which is effective in the thickening and re-elasticising of your skin, leaving you with improved skin texture and a dermis feeling smoother than a playboy’s pick-up line.

What many people don't realize is that 10 units is not going to say hello to glabella frown lines (on average you need at least 25 units), so the rest of the units you need you pay full price for - a luring trick and false advertising! Also the price is well below cost and people may not know but Groupon actually take 50-60% of the voucher value – a practise called fee splitting that is unethical.

I have treated patients that have previously used the Groupon deals and many complain of unsatisfactory results and poor service.

Why feel like just a number and often end up paying more than you bargained for? We offer a comprehensive, value-centred service and it is important to us that all our patients receive individualized treatments that they need and will give them the best results that truly make a difference to the way they look and feel . We only use FDA approved products with extensive clinical data to back up their claims. So don’t put yourself at risk - make an appointment with one of the best .

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