Michael Salzhauer, a Miami cosmetic surgeon and small-business owner, has a nose for inviting controversy. The so-called Dr. Schnoz has produced a rock video about rhinoplasty called "Jewcan Sam," and it's a hoot if you like your advertising on the broadly ethnic side. In the YouTube-posted spot, a big-nosed fella wearing a yarmulke gets rejected by a hot blonde because of his honker, then takes action. Enter our hero, Dr. Salzhauer. The surgeon, the band and the video director are Orthodox Jews.
But the American Society of Plastic Surgeons isn't laughing. It has begun an investigation into whether Salzhauer violated the group's code of ethics to "uphold the dignity and honor of the medical profession," ABC News reported Wednesday. Punishment could be as severe as Salzhauer being decertified, an official said in the story.
"That's what the band wanted," Salzhauer told The Huffington Post earlier Wednesday. "I didn't want to impinge on their creativity."
Salzhauer gave the lead actor in the video, Groggers frontman L.E. Doug Staiman, a nose job for free as part of the deal, and Staiman's transformation is worked into the storyline. Director Farrell Goldsmith shot half the video before the surgery and half after, six days later.
"The bottom line is [Salzhauer] is being wrongly accused of being unethical," Goldsmith told The Huffington Post on Thursday. "I've never met a more ethical and decent person. It's more than bizarre that he's being investigated."
Despite the unorthodox approach, Salzhauer, married with five children, is serious about increasing the business of his Bal Harbour Plastic Surgery practice. He hopes to boost his yearly rhinoplasty total from around 250 to 500, he said.
The surgeon paid the band $2,000 for the song and flew the group from New York City to Miami to shoot the video. He wouldn't divulge the budget of the video, but we suspect it cost more than a nip and tuck. After a recommendation from a friend, Salzhauer contacted the band and asked if they could compose a number about nose jobs. "This is the most insane thing a medical doctor could commission a band to do," Staiman said.
The Groggers delivered the song two days later. "It's catchy," Salzhauer said. "I got my 3-year-old nephew singing it."
Salzhauer thought the song warranted the full MTV treatment, and a kooky but now under-fire visual ode to facial enhancement was born. Salzhauer praised the director Goldsmith for doing an "amazing job" while filming with just his brother as the crew.
AdWeek's Ad Freak first reported on Salzhauer's venture Wednesday, and the responses began to roll in. "Despite the slightly offensive name and slightly controversial aspect of it, they've been overwhelmingly positive," the doctor said.
Salzhauer is also encouraging others to make videos about nose jobs, with the one receiving the most hits on YouTube to win a free nose job plus airfare and lodging. He asks entrants to upload their works to YouTube, and send the link on Twitter to @DrSalzhauer.
In 2008, Salzhauer made the media rounds when he wrote a book explaining cosmetic surgery to children called "My Beautiful Mommy."
This time, he hopes adults get the message. If the whole nose campaign works, he said, "I'd do less breasts."
This article was updated at 10:45 a.m. on March 15 to include a quote from Farrell Goldsmith, the video's director.