MP JO SWINSON celebrated a victory last week after successfully campaigning to get an advert by L’Oreal banned.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled last Tuesday that the ‘retouched’ advert for Revitalift Repair 10 featuring actress Rachel Weisz, was ‘misleading’ and breached industry codes.
Campaign for Body Confidence co-founder Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, believes that idealised images of women in advertising is harmful.
Ms Swinson succeeded in getting retouched ads featuring Twiggy, Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington banned by the ASA last year.
She said: “The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images. Thankfully the regulator has again acknowledged the fraudulent nature of excessive retouching - this should act as a wake up call to advertisers.
“The Royal College of Psychiatrists has spoken out about the harmful influence of the media on body image, and has highlighted airbrushing and digital enhancement used to portray physical perfection as an area of concern.
“There needs to be much more diversity in advertising – different skin colours, body shapes, sizes and ages.
“Studies show that people want to see more authenticity from brands. Images can be aspirational without being faked.
“There are companies who don’t shy away from realism and take steps to actively promote body confidence.
“I’m delighted that the Campaign for Body Confidence will be celebrating best practice through the first Body Confidence Awards, which will be sponsored by bareMinerals. bareMinerals’ new advertising campaign ‘Be A Force Of Beauty’ doesn’t only shun retouching, but celebrates women’s ambition and achievement, showing that beauty is about much more than just looks.”
ASA adjudicators ruled that material provided by L’Oréal Paris had been altered to change Rachel Weisz’ complexion substantially, making it appear smoother and more even and therefore “misleadingly exaggerated” what the product can achieve for consumers.
The black and white image for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Repair anti-wrinkle cream claims to target 10 signs of ageing in one.
L’Oreal admitted the image had been retouched and defended the extent to which it has been manipulated. They said the ad represented Weisz as favourably as possible and every effort was made to produce the most flattering image.
A spokesperson said: “Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting.
“The photo was shot using a lot of light in order to make the picture more flattering and to reduce the appearance of imperfections in the ensuing image by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution.”