For the third Tuesday night in a row the Swedish TV channel 5 will show an episode of the series “Plastikturisterna “(The Plastic Tourist). The Danish “Destination Beauty” invited a 13 man strong film crew to follow the action at several Thai hospitals where especially Swedish women lost some wrinkles or got new silicone breast. Now it’s ‘cash in time’. After the two first shows out of eight shows, the Dane has sold more in a few weeks, than he normally sells in a month or two.
“The reaction to the series “The Plastic Tourist” has been a little bit overwhelming. During the first two or three hours after the shows we have had more visitors to our website than we normally have in two months”, says Martin F. Olsen, 38, the Danish founder and owner of Destination Beauty, from his Head Quarter in Bangkok.
The company with a staff of more than 30 has made a business out of selling tailor-made trips mainly to Thailand, where the clients get new breasts, facelifts or other adjustments or improvement to nature. The clients are not only female. Penis enlargement is a very popular adjustment.
“We helps more than 2.000 clients per year, and out of those around 300 are from Sweden”, says the Danish businessman”.
That number of clients is now on the upstream thanks to the TV series “The Plastic Tourist”. And Martin F. Olsen could see that happen from the first second he heard about the idea to be involved in the series.
“As our talk with the productions people went along I got the idea about what they were looking for. They didn’t want to show how it really did happens. That’s simply too boring. They want to make a good show”, explains the founder of Destination Beauty.
During more than two months the crew followed the clients mainly in Phuket. To convince clients to take part in the shooting on trips from Sweden, discounts were offered on the stay and the operation.
The crew wasn’t allowed into the operating theatres during surgery, but except from that almost everything was filmed.
Like a fox looking for a fat chicken the crew was looking for things which’s would wake the audience up in front of their TV’s back home in Sweden.
So did they find a fat chicken, a conflict or even a scandal?
Last Tuesday, the Swedish tabloid Expressen joined in the action. “She Was too Fat” was the headline of the article about Birgitta Fröderberg, 49, who was denied the operations that she and her husband had travel almost half way around the world to have.
“She was to fat. But when we got the pictures and her data, it looked like her belly was loose. She wanted to tighten her tummy, and when our surgeon in Phuket saw the pictures they gave it the go”, Martin explains.
However, when Birgitta landed in Phuket she had gained between six and eight kilos more, and the skin wasn’t loos anymore. On top of that, her blood pressure was far too high for an operation. Three days were spent on adjusting medicine, before she was ready.
Then Birgitta was told that the doctors had decided that they did not dare to operate anyway. That refusal was the ‘scandal’ that brought Destination Beauty on several front-pages in Sweden.
“We had three different surgeons to check up on Birgitta. All of them said it would be too risky,” Martin explains.
“There was simply too much fat. Serious infections could occur. We trust the doctors and if the doctors say no, we say no.”
During conflict Martin F. Olsen went to Phuket. He had around 20 discussions with the husband of Birgitta by phone and face to face. After Birgitta was out of the Bangkok Phuket Hospital she and her husband had a lunch with Martin, and she left Phuket with a plan to get down in weight. If so, Destination Beauty will accept her back as a client and in the show “The Plastic Tourist”.
When Scandasia.com confronted Martin F. Olsen with the tabloid front-page he was surprised and a little upset.
There was nothing about the refund of the expenses to Birgitta, that he paid; there was nothing about the high blood pressure and the gain of between six and eight kilos before she got to Phuket.
“Expressen even told their readers that they tried to get a comment from Destination Beauty. They never tried to reach us for sure. And the tabloid even misspelled our company name”, says Martin F. Olsen.
So does Martin F Olsen now regret that he accepted the film crew tailing his staff, medical staff and clients for more than two months?
“No, no. We played along as we had planned. We didn’t want the viewers to switch of the telly. We were in it for the benefit of our business. And the shows are a fantastic PR stunt for us. Despite the bad press about the Birgitta case”.
Actually, Martin F. Olsen is quite proud how the situation was handled.
“We run a business but we are not playing games with the health of our clients. We could have started to call around to cheaper hospitals where the doctors would care more about the profit than the result of the operation. But we don’t do that kind of thing. It’s that simple”, says Martin F. Olsen.
And now it’s almost time for the busy hours after the show on Channel 5.
How many boobs will they sell tonight?