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Pretty woman or digital manipulation?

27 July 2011

The cosmetic giant L’Oreal has been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop using pictures of Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington upholding a complaint that the images were overly airbrushed.

The complaint came from Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, a long standing campaigner against unrealistic images of women in advertising. Swinson is claiming the decision as a victory stating that “this ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let’s get back to reality”, and rightly so. It is perfectly legitimate for advertisers to show their products in the best possible light, however they should not cross the line of becoming misleading.

The ASA has shown its hand in this case and arguably cast doubt on the products in question. Advertisers need to be careful to show the true effects of their products or risk consumers questioning whether they are as good as they first appear.

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