Dior is making headlines again, but this time it isn’t about buzzy new head designer Raf Simons.
According to an article by the Telegraph (since removed from their site) referenced by the Huffington Post, the brand’s beauty department is under fire after a mascara ad featuring Natalie Portman was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK. And who filed the complaint? Rival beauty company (and also a former ASA ban victim) L’Oréal UK, who allege that the ad for Dior’s Dior Show New Look Mascara exaggerates the effects of the mascara with Photoshop.
Dior claims that the image in question was originally intended for a lipstick ad, and that Portman is not wearing false eyelashes, per Vogue UK. Still, Dior has voluntarily withdrawn the ad rather than wait out a formal investigation, which would require that they argue that the allegations of digital enhancement were false. Further, Dior does admit to retouching Portman’s lashes to “separate/increase the length and curve of a number of her lashes and to replace/fill a number of missing or damaged lashes, for a more stylised, uniform and tidy effect.” We’re not initiated in beauty advert speak, but that kind of sounds to us like they did in fact digitally exaggerate the effects of the mascara.
The ASA has previously taken beauty companies to task for a variety of reasons, from ads that they deem “too sexy” like the Dakota Fanning for Marc Jacobs Lola advert, to false representation of product results, like the Julia Roberts for Lancome advert.
UPDATE: The ASA has updated their website with the details of the ruling, which includes Dior’s defense of their Photoshop usage. Dior claims that Portman was not wearing false eyelashes, though they also contend that “a significant number of women did wear false eyelashes as part of their regular beauty regime.” They also say that “the ad was a stylised and aspirational ad intended to convey the luxury image and allure of the Diorshow Mascara,” and that consumers expect a degree of stylizing in beauty ads.
Dior is not allowed to use the ad in it’s existing form going forward.