Britain's Advertising Standards Authority strikes again.
On Wednesday, the ASA ruled that a print ad for L’Oréal's Revitalift Repair 10 featuring model/actress Rachel Weisz was misleading, holding the cosmetics company accountable for false advertising.
WWD reports that the committee said that the ad “misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product." Adding details to their case, the ASA did a careful study of the photo of Weisz, and found that it was "altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even."
The ASA then took swift action by banning the ad in its current state. The committee furthermore asked L’Oréal to discontinue its use of image enhancing techniques that could lead to misleading advertising.
Meanwhile, L’Oréal defends its shooting and post-production methods, and says it shot Weisz "as favorably as possible." They elaborated this claim by stating that they had used lots of light when photographing as well as a soft-focus lens.
A spokesperson for the cosmetics company said, “We are disappointed to learn that the ASA has adjudicated against our press advertisement for Revitalift Repair 10. We believe that the image in the advertisement is a true representation of Rachel Weisz. The product claims are based on extensive scientific research which proved that the product improves 10 different signs of skin aging. We therefore do not believe that the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product.”
The last major case involving the UK's Advertising Authority was over a "sexually provocative" Marc Jacobs fragrance ad featuring 17-year-old Dakota Fanning.
Prior to that, the commitee banned two "unrealistic" beauty ads, one featuring Julia Roberts for a Lancome foundation product, the other featuring Christy Turlington for a Maybelline anti-aging product called the "Eraser."
The interesting correlation? L'Oréal owns both Lancome and Maybelline. What are your thoughts on the ruling? Did the ASA make the right call on this case? Or are they being way too sensitive to beauty companies' use of programs like Photoshop. (Side note: If you haven't seen this spoof of beauty commercials, watch it!) After all, it's all advertising.
Vote in our poll.