The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has taken yet another cosmetics company to task for its false advertising, WWD is reporting. Instead of taking an overprotective role over too-young girls being featured in precarious situations (like Dakota Fanning’s Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! ad or Hailee Steinfeld in that “irresponsible” Miu Miu ad), this time they’re going after the other end of the age spectrum.A politician in England, Jo Swinson, headed up a complaint to the ASA regarding a L’Oreal Paris ad featuring the 41-year-old Rachel Weisz. The product being shilled, Revitalist Repair 10, claims to target 10 signs of aging (Ed. note: There are 10 signs of aging? Horrifiyng!) As you can see above, Weisz’s complexion looks soft, glowing and perfect. Maybe too perfect, according to complaints (see a recent red carpet photo of her, right).
According to a report in the Telegraph, a rep from the ASA said, “Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of Rachel Weisz’s face, we considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.” The conclusion was that the supposed result you could get from the cream was exaggerated, and therefore the ad is misleading. (As a hilarious sidenote, the Telegraph reports that a similar L’Oreal Paris ad featuring Jane Fonda–see below–garnered complaints from consumers, but they were rejected by the ASA. Fonda actually looks that good in real life.)
This isn’t the first time L’Oreal Paris has been in trouble with the ASA for ads featuring older actresses/models. The cosmetics giant was forced to pull Lancome and Maybelline ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for looking a bit too perfect.
So the UK has been fairly aggressive in policing ads for excessive post-production manipulation, a practice that is rampant in the industry. The US has dipped its toe into cracking down on excessive retouching in beauty ads, after criticizing CoverGirl mascara ads in December. Will more be forthcoming, and should we be cracking down?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here–kudos to the beauty industry for using models that are over 22. But stop trying to make them look 22.