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July 29, 2011  | by: Anupriya Dutta

L'Oreal's Ad Campaigns

L’Oreal’s beauty firms Lancome and Maybelline have been asked to withdraw their ad campaigns starring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for “digitally manipulating” the photos. Now, how many times have we seen beauty advertisements being banned for excessive airbrushing? A lot. When beauty campaigns release their products, they obviously want to flaunt their impeccable collection and hence need models who carry off this agenda. They want actresses to have flawless everything. But apparently the natural looks of two of the most beautiful women we have in our industry is not enough.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reported these photos banned as they seemed “misleading” and “exaggerated” and issued the following report:

“On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques.”

Julia Roberts with and without airbrushing

This matter is headed by a member of parliament, Jo Swinson, who believes that these ads create a false impression about beauty which results in making women and girls feel bad about themselves. How many times have we seen flawless skin on the pages of Harper’s or Lucky, and felt low or condescended? I fully agree with this report because even though Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are so gorgeous, they apparently cannot meet the standards of L’Oreal!

It is ironic that the ads claim to “be an aura of a perfect skin” while the models themselves do not have it!

Christy Turlington with and without airbrushing

Joe Swinson commented on this issue, and I wholly agree with her.  Swinson said: “This ruling demonstrates that the advertising regulator is acknowledging the dishonest and misleading nature of excessive retouching. Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around but they don’t reflect reality. With one in four people feeling depressed about their body, it’s time to consider how these idealized images are distorting our idea of beauty.”

MP Joe Swinson and Lynne Featherstone (also a member of the parliament) have set up a campaign called Campaign for Body Confidence where they ask such companies to be honest about the amount of airbrushing they use. We really hope that these companies stop selling themselves and actually use natural skin on their ads.

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