It’s become the norm rather than the exception that models in makeup and skincare ads are retouched to death. The fact that the recent “unretouched” Makeup Forever ad made such news is a testament to this fact of life in the beauty industry.
But cosmetics companies have been getting in trouble for this, particularly in the UK. Over the years, there have been a lot of complaints, especially about mascara ads which depict models in fake eyelashes. L’Oreal Paris was targeted in 2007 because Penelope Cruz was wearing fakes in a Telescopic Mascara commercial. Rimmel is a repeat offender, giving Kate Moss digitally enhanced lashes in 2007 and Georgia May Jagger fake lashes last year, both in mascara ads.
Two UK organizations, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) just released new advertising guidelines for cosmetics advertising.
The guidelines address pre-production (styling and makeup) and post-production (re-touching). Some of the guidelines include:
-The use of misleading lash inserts
-The excessive use of hair extensions in hair care ads
-The use of fake nails in nail care ads
-Re-touching pictures to remove fine lines and wrinkle, hair fly-aways, and skin blemishes (for example) if the products are claiming to help those issues.
It’s okay to use the above if that area is not the subject of the particular product; for example, it’s okay to use fake eyelashes to make a model look better if you’re advertising nail polish, as long as you don’t do anything to the nails.
It will be interesting to see how strictly this is policed. If questioned, companies will have to prove that their ads are not misleading.
Should the US institute similar guidelines for cosmetics advertising?