It's not exactly a secret that cosmetic companies use photoshop to produce ads which show their product performing feats of transformation far glossier, prettier--and unattainable--than they would be able to achieve in real life. However while the practice is widespread, it turns out that it's also sort of misleading to customers. We know: Shocker, right?
Thankfully, the U.S. is finally taking steps to tackle the problem, reports Business Insider. In a landmark ruling by the National Advertising Division, the U.S. industry watchdog decided to ban an ad by Covergirl for their NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara. In a landmark decision, Covergirl has decided to yank the ads for their NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, after the National Advertising Division challenged the claims and image in the campaign, which they believed to be misleading to customers. The ad in question promised the mascara could deliver “2X more volume” on women's lashes, but in the fine print disclosed that the models lashes had been enhanced post-production. The ruling said, "NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes." Except, of course, that they can't. At least not without the help of photoshop anyway.
About the decision, NAD director Andrea Levine told the paper, "You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’” You can't really argue with her logic there. Which is probably why Procter & Gamble, Covergirl's parent company, has agreed to never again run the ad.
While Covergirl's was the only ad to be singled out, NAD's ruling sets a precedent that, according to Business Insider, most advertisers will follow because of the organization's close relationship the Federal Trade Commission, which has the ability to fine, sue or bring injunctions against companies found to be in violation of their rules. In the UK, restrictions regarding the use of photoshop in cosmetics ads have already been put into place and resulted in the ban of Julia Roberts' Lancome ad and Christy Turlington's Maybelline ad.
So does this mean we can expect cosmetics ads that show real products being used on real models (as opposed to pore-less, computer-generated robots)? We hope so.