By now you’ve heard about the Julia Roberts L’Oreal ad getting banned in the UK along with images of Christy Turlington for a new anti-ageing product, but so far, I haven’t see anyone defending it.
I want to make a point about airbrushing: It is widely used in the entertainment industry, for products, companies and individuals. To ban a magazine ad that uses ‘excessive airbrushing’ is the same as banning a picture of movie poster with ‘too much color correction’. Picture ads are meant to be larger than life. Even if you are selling a product, you want to make people feel attracted to it by bringing something beautiful to light. Intelligent consumers will know that images in magazines are always digitally enhanced. For years, the consumer has been subject to this kind of photography. Nothing is new.
In the end, a beauty product is meant to make you look beautiful, or alter your complexion, otherwise it wouldn’t be sold. It’s up to you whether you trust what the brand has to say or not based on what’s written, and proved. If the text is misleading, and false statistics and success rates are added, then it deserves a ban. In this case it’s unquantifiable and it’s a completely unfair to target one ad when you should be looking at the whole industry.
While my comments wont be welcomed by the UK’s Advertising Standard’s Agency, there comes a time when you have to think about the bigger picture. I also don’t see how a politician should be allowed to ‘direct’ the decision of an advertising agency. Does this mean all magazine ads need a creative review from the ASA and political party figures before they can be given the go ahead? Totally ridiculous. What do you think? Would you go see a romantic movie with Julia Roberts if she had bad lighting on her face, and looked as if she just got out of bed?