L'Oreal's Fabulous Misadventure


The UK Liberals are not very liberal about advertising – or shall we say false advertising. The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday about L’Oreal’s fabulous misadventure.

L’Oréal has been forced to pull ad campaigns featuring Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington, after the advertising watchdog upheld complaints by Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson that the images were overly airbrushed.

Swinson, who has waged a long-running campaign against “overly perfected and unrealistic images” of women in adverts, lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority about the magazine campaigns for L’Oréal-owned brands Lancôme and Maybelline. The ASA ruled that both ads breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading and banned them from future publication.

L’Oréal’s two-page ad featuring Roberts, who is the face of Lancôme, promoted a foundation called Teint Miracle, which it claims creates a “natural light” that emanates from beautiful skin. It was shot by renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino. The ad for Maybelline featured Turlington promoting a foundation called The Eraser, which is claimed to be an “anti-ageing” product. In the ad, parts of Turlington’s face are shown covered by the foundation while other parts are not, in order to show the effects of the product.

Read more here.

We can all agree that advertising started out as a huckster’s racket, often scamming the public with false claims and frequent hyperbole. But “Truth in Advertising” has kept advertisers more or less honest, if only to avoid fines. Still, the fashion industry uses the airbrush as natural appendage. But in the wake of the Murdoch scandal, the Brits are watching their dogs more carefully.


4 thoughts on “L'Oreal's Fabulous Misadventure

  1. Pat Ballard

    What amazes me is that companies think that images like this will sell products. The consumer has been bombarded with so many airbrushed images that they’ve lost their appeal. A realistic depiction of what makeup can do would really attract attention.
    This is a wonderful article. Thanks so much for posting.

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