We’ve been paying a lot more attention to ads over the last few years, whether gawking at model’s gorgeous makeup or their flawless skin — but then again, so has everyone else. Lately, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority has been cracking down on “over photoshopped” campaigns, deeming multiple ads unfit for print.
First making an example out of Dakota Fanning and Hailee Steinfeld’s ads for being “too provocative” for their ages, the authority then banned Julia Roberts’ Lancome ad and Christy Turlington’s Maybelline ads for misleading consumers. The latest ad to be pulled is Rachel Weisz’s L’Oreal Paris Revitalift, for similar reasons.
Weisz’s ad is gorgeous for sure, but the ASA didn’t buy the fact that her flawless and completely smooth skin wasn’t a form of exaggeration for the product’s promised effect. “The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images,” said MP Jo Swinson, who spoke out on behalf of the ASA. “The banning of this advert, along with the previous ASA rulings banning heavily retouched ads featuring Twiggy [in 2009], Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, should act as a wake-up call.”
Meanwhile, L’Oreal did admit to touching up the photo, as everyone knows that they do in all photos (and all brands and fashion magazines do). In a statement, they said, “The ad sought to represent Rachel Weisz as favorably as possible and therefore every effort had gone into ensuring the most flattering set-up. Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting. The photo was shot using a lot of light in order to make the picture more flattering and to reduce the appearance of imperfections in the ensuing image by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution.”
While we do realistically understand that photoshop is always used to retouch images (we work in the industry, it’s a fact of life), it’s interesting to watch the ASA take action against certain ads. Personally, we find it more offensive when models or celebrities are slimmed down two or three dress sizes rather than just have a few crows feet erased. This is obviously because we’re jealous of the fact that they are given amazing abs at the snap of a finger…
But, we also understand what the ASA is trying to do — it’s not fair as young girls to grow up with unrealistic expectations. And, it’s not fair as consumers to believe that a product will do more than it actually will.
What do you think about what the ASA is attempting to do? Do you wish someone was doing the same thing in the U.S.?