L'Oreal anti-wrinkle cream ad banned for misleading consumers

Thursday, 2 February 2012


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The above advert for L'Oreal's Revitalift Repair anti-wrinkle cream, has recently been banned by the ASA (Advertsing Standards Authority) for being misleading and exaggerating the effects of the product. Featuring the beautiful Rachel Weisz, it's clear to see that the ad has been HEAVILY photoshopped. The main complaint came from Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson who commented that, "Weisz's perfectly smooth complexion was not a positive representation of beauty achievable by women after it had been airbrushed."

The viewpoint held by the industry watchdog is that, “Re-touching images is acceptable so long as the resulting effect was not one which misleadingly exaggerated the effect that the product was capable of achieving." L’Oreal did admit that the image had been retouched but defended the extent to which it has been manipulated, saying that the ad was shot in a certain way to flatter Weisz's face.

I have no problem with a black & white photograph that has been shot in a flattering way. It is fine for Weisz's personal portfolio or maybe a coffee table artbook. The problem is that it is being used to advertise and therefore sell, a product to women which is unrealistic and false. Using L'Oreal's anti-wrinkle cream will NOT make you look like you have a complexion like Weisz's because even Weisz herself doesn't look like that!

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Another problem is that this isn't the first time that L'Oreal have misled consumers with false ads. The two ads above were also banned last year for the same reasons. I agree with Jo Swindon when she says, “The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images. The banning of this advert, along with the previous ASA rulings banning heavily retouched ads featuring Twiggy, Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, should act as a wake-up call. Thankfully the advertising regulator has again acknowledged the fraudulent nature of excessive retouching.”

What do you think? Would you continue to buy from a brand who mislead consumers with overly photoshopped adverts? Would you prefer to see realistic images of how a product works instead, even if it still showed some wrinkles?

(Images from Yahoo Lifestyle).

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14 comments

  1. Would much prefer to see how products work! But that is what beauty blogs are for now! xx

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  2. As Zooey says, this is the joy of beauty blogging. I would never buy a product based on advertising alone, but would always check with blogs written by people whose opinions I respect. The problem with adverts is that re-touching is so commonplace we all expect to see flawless women, most likely if an advert used a real perfectly natural woman with crows feet and a spot on her chin we'd all be horrified, even if she was gorgeous! It's silly. :-) x

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    1. Definitely, I always, always read reviews before buying anything, even if a product is being heavily marketed. I don't trust photoshopped ads! x

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  3. That's so naughty! Would defo prefer to see real results photos! What a cheek L'oreal! xx

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    1. Me too, if I buy a product I want to see what it could do for me realistically! x

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  4. I'd prefer to see real results too (she looks nothing like her airbrushed version!) and I mainly find products through magazines, though mainly through blogs these days x

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    1. I know it's quite shocking how much that ad has been airbrushed. I tend to find out about new products from mags sometimes, and then always check reviews on blogs that I trust x

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  5. I want to see realistic photos, which is why I ignore ads and read blogs instead. When I was a teenager I bought loads of products after seeing adverts that turned out to be really disappointing in real life - and I'm talking about eyeshadow and lipstick pigmentation, not anything more dramatic. I was so annoyed that my Rimmel eyeshadows barely showed up on my eyelids and lasted about 2 hours, when in the ads they were really bright. I've never been disappointed when I've bought something after seeing swatches on blogs.

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    1. I completely agree, I must have wasted so much money from buying things I saw in mags when I was younger. I now always check swatches and reviews from blogs that I trust instead.

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  6. I don't think there's much hope of ever seeing truly realistic imagery advertising such products.. If they have to cut down on the Photoshopping by law, they'll just use a model with naturally less wrinkles! I avoid advertising as much as possible, much happier (and richer!) for it :) x

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    1. Yeah I think they ever do ban this kind of advertising across the board, brands will just use naturally younger models (which again, is another problem in itself) x

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  7. I think the airbrushing has gone way too far! the pictures don't even look like the real life person. Its shocking. Bare minerals have an amazing new campaign called Force of Beauty where they have used real people in their ads, with laughter lines, pores, freckles and wrinkles all still there in their photos and the women look amazing and beautiful and real and its so powerful.

    x

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    1. I've seen that, it's brilliant. Go Bare Minerals! I think we will see an even bigger backlash with regards to too much Photoshopping/airbrushing in years to come because the ads are just getting beyond ridiculous now x

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