Let me begin by saying I’m ALL for retouching. I have been the fortunate recipient of some generous under-eye work in photos over the past few years. So I tend to think that while people may not know it, they would actually prefer the people they see in ads looking fresh faced. (Anyone whose had a good retouching would certainly agree to it for themselves.) But when the fresh face comes alongside an ad for rejuvenating creams and wrinkle minimizing lotions, however, the waters get a little murky. That’s why a British organization has banned advertisements featuring actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington. (Two gorgeous women, no doubt, but do the ads cross the line?)
L’OrÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©al has been forced to pull ad campaigns in light of complaints from a politico and an advertising watchdog group, claiming that the shots were overly airbrushed.
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson is an advocate for more realistic advertisements, waging a war against “overly perfected and unrealistic images.”
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ads breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading and banned them from future publication.
Roberts is the face of a Lancome foundation called Teint Miracle, which it claims creates a “natural light” that emanates from beautiful skin. Mario Testino shot the photos. (admittedly, a pro when it comes to portraiture and natural light.) In the images, Roberts, 43, appears to have no undereye lines at all. L’Oreal provided red carpet shots of Roberts to argue against the ban, since the actress does not allow for unretouched photos to be released as part of her contract. (Note to self: never allow unretouched photos of myself to be released.)
Christy Turlington appears in an ad for Maybelline promoting a foundation called The Eraser, which is claimed to be an “anti-ageing” product. The ad shows parts of Turlington’s face that appear to show her ‘with’ and ‘without’ the product on, displaying what is essentially beautiful and more beautiful skin. (If you ask me, it also looks like her face is melting off… she the image? Creepy.)
The Advertising Standards Authority said they essentially had no choice but to ban the ads for falsehoods, due to a lack of proof otherwise:
“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.”
And so, the public is once again reminded of what we already knew. Models and actresses get retouched, makeup hides flaws, and so does retouching.
What do you think?