Some make-up adverts mislead consumers - official, but hardly a shock

27 July 2011

Bitterwallet - Julia Roberts complaints

Some make-up adverts are photoshopped to the point where they mislead the public - who'd have thought THAT, eh readers? Despite it being obvious to anybody with eyes, nobody has held the cosmetic industry to account for its snake-oil style practices. And since it's the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that has upheld a complaint against them, that's still the case - but at least they've delivered a short, sharp kick to the balls.

L'Oreal used the mug of Julia Roberts to promote Lancôme's "Teint Miracle" foundation, stating that it "recreates the aura of perfect skin... instantly complexion appears naturally bare, beautifully flawless and luminous." MP Jo Swinson quite rightly pointed out that the photo of Julia Roberts appeared to have been photoshopped within an inch of its life, and therefore using it to promote the product was a nonsense.

How did L'Oreal defend the accusation? By saying that the photographer has used "a lot of light, which was flattering, and reduced the appearance of imperfections by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution". Not only that, but that they "maintained the ad provided an aspirational picture of what could be achieved by using the product." You know - "aspirational", as in something that might be achieved but isn't necessarily real or obtainable.

Since L'Oreal decided not to share the detail of its post-production technique, the ASA upheld the complaint and found the ad misleading. The company did share more information for another complaint upheld by the ASA concerning a similar advert featuring model Christy Turlington promoting an anti-aging product. L'Oreal UK admitted the photo had been "digitally retouched to lighten the skin, clean up makeup, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows". Well that's ok, then.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Technology


  • The B.
    Jane Fonda uses milk of Ted Turner to keep her skin younger looking.
  • Avon B.
    You mean... Davina McCall might not actually dye her own hair? Oh, enough is ENOUGH.
  • Frank C.
    On the one hand, I think anyone with half a brain knows that all photos of slebs are photoshopped into meaninglessness. On the other hand, kids see these adverts and with 50% of 3-6 year old girls worried about being fat and 40% of teenage girls thinking about plastic surgery ( ), there's clearly something very wrong going on that needs fixing asap.
  • Dick
    Why not cut off her head, and place it on a spike inside the busiest Boots store. That way, everyone can judge for themselves.
  • zeddy
    @Frank Comparison: your statistics for 3-6 year olds sound like shite to me.

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