With governments getting involved in the sometimes misleading world of beauty advertising, cosmetics companies are going to have to ease up on the airbrushing, as L’Oréal just learned the hard way. The UK government recently released guidelines limiting the use of misleading ad alterations, and the American Medical Association recommended similar measures here in the US. The UK is definitely putting its money where its mouth is, and just banned a series of ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.
The Daily Mail reports today that the cosmetics giant, who owns Lancôme and Maybelline, had to ‘fess up about the post-production techniques used in recent ads featuring the 40-something celebs. Julia Roberts’ Lancôme Teint Miracle foundation ad features the actress looking radiant, but the company admitted that post-production techniques were used. The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad “didn’t accurately reflect what the product could achieve” and subsequently pulled the ads.
The Christy Turlington ads for Maybelline’s new Eraser foundation sticks were even more egregious. While a disclaimer in small print on the bottom of the ad states the image is an “illustrated effect,” the company admitted that they used digital re-imaging to “lighten the skin, clean up make-up, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows,” according to the Daily Mail.
If cosmetics companies are going to hire a non-20-year-old to advertise their products, they need to let the lady’s 40 flag fly. Otherwise, why bother?