Thursday, 4 August 2011

Banned L'Oreal Adverts

Very much in the media at present is the news that L'Oreal has been forced to pull two advertising campaigns on the request from the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority). In light of this current discussion, and perhaps a follow on from the 'Rant' post that was put up a couple of weeks ago, I felt the urge to write about this too.




The adverts, one including Julia Roberts the other of supermodel Christy Turlington were forced to be pulled by L'Oreal after Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson lodged a complaint with the ASA stating that the images were overly airbrushed, the ASA then declared that the adverts breached the advertising standards codes. Swinson stated that the ads were "not representative of the results the product could achieve" - this is precisely what frustrates me about these kind of ads above all. I absolutely have no problem with the photo-shopping of images, it is everywhere and used by everyone for all different kind of reasons, but when images like this, which appear over the world, are subject to huge digital enhancement and over the top airbrushing that ultimately occurs to push products, it becomes utterly deceitful and false. It is so unrealistic to promote the idea that 'with this product you could like this', because actually, the person in the picture doesn't really look like that. These are only two cases from a wealth of advertising campaigns that follow this trend, the ones that stick in my mind are the vast majority of mascara adverts that basically show eyelashes that don't even belong to the model, yet apparently if you buy the product your eyelashes could allegedly look like that. It couldn't get any more distorted and misleading.



Ultimately, these images are just wholly unnatural and however cliched it sounds, no-one is that perfect not even Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, and although they are undoubtedly beautiful and incredible looking it just is not possible for them to look how the adverts portray them, because it makes them look inhuman. If people were to actually like the creations of the adverts, then we would lose our character and personality, it would just be odd.

Also, along similar lines that the 'Rant' post raises, then what are these images supposed to do for the person viewing them. It runs risk of promoting issues with self-perception and self-criticism by putting these unrealistic images of women to front the campaign in order to sell the product. It easily can create a 'I wish I looked like that' feeling and the advert pretty much grants this wish by suggesting that with the product in question you could transform, even change, yourself with that product, that by using it one could take steps towards appearing like that. Using this technique to sell the product is just wrong and dishonest not to mention utterly false and unattainable because the person in the picture doesn't even look like that themselves, instead it has the capacity to be harmful and self-questioning.

It is interesting also to see that these adverts are only banned in the UK and not in the US - I wonder if and when that will happen, however at least there is some kind of progression and a step towards change within this industry. To relate it to YouTube, I feel it is a forum that is constantly increasing in popularity in the make-up and beauty area because what you see is literally what you get, the people who make up the YouTube community are real people with lives that people can relate to, with absolutely no sign of digital enhancement - it becomes attainable and achievable. Of course there are people that unfortunately do feel the need to point out blemishes or lines, perhaps that reflects how their perception has been distorted by this kind of advertising.
Individuals on YouTube are real, there is nothing to hide behind. Moreover, you can see the products at work, see what the products actually do, not just what they say they do and decide for yourself what you think of the product, it is honest precisely because the individual can form their own thoughts and opinions*, seeing products actually being demonstrated on real people. I love YouTube for that, you take from it what you wish without any huge claims or unrealistic and unattainable suggestions of what the product does to affect you, because you can see it at work for yourself,  it can be very refreshing in times like this.

*Obviously, some YouTubers choose to make sponsored videos but it is against the law for them not to state that clearly on their channel. Also I think it's fairly obvious when a video features a paid promotion.
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58 comments

  1. funnily enough i dont actually think these are the worst out there, despite being banned. personally i agree with you that for me mascara adverts are the worst, all enhanced post production and they have lash inserts... they probably annoy me the most of all beauty-type adverts :D

    www.missmathful.blogspot.com

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  2. This post is one of the most inspiring pieces on the beauty industry I have read in a long time. Youtube is such a good platform not only for the creators of the tutorials but also for the viewers; even if you can't afford the make up, it shows you the techniques to create a more flattering style of make up. These are the realistic aims brands need to pushing, not the airbrushed perfectional, unnattainable and unrealistic looks they seem to find are their best form of marketing.

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  3. So, so true! I wish Germany also introduced a ban on extremely photoshopped ads. They present a product effect that simply doesn't exist, let alone the wrong image young people might get when it comes to role models and the overall perception of beauty in the media. Thumbs up for the UK to ban such ads!

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  4. I totally agree with you. Especially young girls and teens get such a distorted perception of what is to be considered beauty. And mascara advert are the ones which really cross me....those are fals lushes.Period. No magical product can recreate that! In Italy we say it is a "misleading advertising" but unfortunatelly no one does anything to fix that. Very sad!
    Rox

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  5. The mascara adverts drive me mad. The product is NOTHING like what they're claiming it to be!!!

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  6. that's the reason i don't buy mascara from these brands, how should i be able to see if a mascara is doing it's job if the models wear these ridiculous fake lashes??
    Germany should ban these ads too!

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  7. That's wh I go to YouTube reviews because it's real people reviewing it. We know Julia has wrinkles so they are a bit ridiculous for thinking we wouldn't notice.

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  8. When I first heard about it I had to think of all the mascara ads. :D

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  9. I love the photoshoped mascara ads. Its always fun to guess what kind of falshies were used :-P

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  10. I agree but I don't understand why these two got pulled over all the other ones that are so blatantly airbrushed :P

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  11. I totally agree with you. I welcomed the news about the ban with a big smile on my face! False claims in the adverts just make me wanna not to buy the product at all. Mascaras in particular - you just know that there's no chance your lashes are going to look like on the picture... Young girls these days are soo influenced by the looks they see in media, they become very self concious and insecure about themselves. I'd reather search for reviews of the product from the people who already used it than believe the ads..

    http://marvellousessence.blogspot.com/

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  12. I also wrote about this a while back, if anyone fancied a nosey :) - http://makemeupkia.blogspot.com/2011/03/airbrushing-in-advertising.html x

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  13. Ha ha, me to - I was thinking it's definately mascara advertisement;DD Great post, I agree with everything!

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  14. Great post!
    Unhappily in Germany it is not against the law not to mention if a product is sponsored or not.
    But most of the time it's obviously..

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  15. The one pic from Maybelline is really bad. to be honest i really don`t get drawn in anymore by ads. This is why i love you tube so much and especial you guys, you tell it like it is.

    http://welldressed25.blogspot.com/

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  16. I'm glad that someone is finally doing something about false advertising. I'm alright with photoshopped images - it's part of the art of photography. But when you're advertising for a product, I really feel like they should stick with what the product actually does instead of purger themselves

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  17. Hear, Hear...this is exactly why I value Pixiwoo's videos so much - the end results are achievable (not if you are cack handed like me - but for those people with a steady hand and some natural ability). I too HATE the endless parade of mascara adverts with the small print that effectively says THIS ADVERT IS A LIE. As other commentators above have said - I shun these brands. As if a new shaped mascara brush and a new packaging colour is going to fool us into thinking that this time the product will work (yeah right).

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  18. Have you seen the doves campaign for real beauty where they show editing that takes place - its amazing! x

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  19. Or I think it may be called evolution of beauty by dove. Anyway great great post! xx

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  20. While I kind of agree, I keep asking myself if the adverts are the actual problem. I mean, who with the least bit of common sense would believe these pictures/these women are real? It is so utterly obvious that it's fake that I am not sure it can actually do any harm. On the other hand, why should the companies be allowed to publish something so completely unreal - so overall I am pro prohibiting.

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  21. I couldn't agree more! It's ridiculous the amount of editing that goes on in these adverts, that's why I try my products from recommendations rather that adverts

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  22. I personally hate the mascara ads where the model's clearly wearing two sets of false lashes! C'mon! Are we that dumb?

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  23. I also agree with the mascara adverts. How do companies honestly think it's ok to advertise products and then tell us 'we used lash inserts by the way, so your lashes probably won't even look like this.'

    It's frustrating that companies have been able to do this for so long. Good to see that action is being taken to deal with it!

    http://sugar-and-smile.blogspot.com/

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  24. mascara ads are the worst! and hair color/shampoo spots on tv, so digitalized, it is CRAZY!! That pic you have posted for maybalene is so freaky, it's like her skin is melting off. ew. I love your videos because like yo said, you girls are REAL and it somehow makes me feel better about myself to see that you, being absolutely beautiful, also have some imperfections. "and here's a good concealer to help fix that." So helpful and REAL. <3

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  25. Great post Sam/Nic, I hate the mascara adverts too! The Falsies by Maybelline what a joke! If I want a new mascara I come to Pixiwoo and see what you're using xx

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  26. Although i do generelly agree on what you talk about in the post. I on the other hand also think, that if people actually take what's shown in those ads for reality, then there is a different, more distressing problem over all.
    In my personal opinion, it is a kind of a double bladed sword. I find it slightly disturbing to see those ads, i will admit that. But on the other hand, i am realist enough to see, that it is just advertising to sell products. Nothing more or less.

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  27. Same with some beauty bloggers, I must say! I rarely photoshop anything, unless I just got blurry pictures and need to sharp them. Still, that's just less than 1% of the time.
    What I dislike most of those ads is that some people might believe that Maybelline foundation really will do that to their skin (the Lancome one looks like an alien and I really hope no one believes such thing) and then, when they use it, some will blame themselves for not achieving the same result as the picture!
    "Oh, I ain't pretty so even x or y foundation can't improve my looks".

    I've been quite self concious of my looks most of my life, but then I decided I'd learn to like myself and now I really do. I find myself a pretty girl. I'm not a beauty standard, but I love myself the way I am.


    Another thing that bothers me is the lack of black woman or asian woman on beauty ads.

    I'm from Brazil but I am very pale. I notice that, many many times, I get compliments and after the compliment there's always a: "You have this beautiful pale skin..." - some girl on a counter even said I had the best skin color and that it was much better than dark skin! - Most of our population ain't pale, and yet we value that, we are eurocentric as hell!

    So many things wrong with the beauty industry.... :/

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  28. I agree that there really need to be changes in advertising here in America. I consider myself a well educated, normal young woman, and I know that these ads are severely photo shopped.

    I understand its not real and that there is no way for anyone to ever look like that, but when I look in the mirror and see my average sized pores I'm just unhappy. I need pores, they're important, but I want to look like the ladies in these ads with airbrushed skin.

    Overall I am very happy with myself as a person inside and out and maybe this is just a personal problem. However, in my opinion women seem to compare themselves to very high standards whether they are realistic or not in many different areas. I think that is the problem both with these ads and womens' perceptions of what is beautiful.

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  29. Now if they would just pull all the mascara ads-I would be a happy camper. I think the mascara commercials are the worst!!

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  30. I agree with you that photoshopping and airbrushing should be toned down a lot on all makeup models. I work for Lancome and i think it was unfair that they picked on L'oreal and Lancome in particular as there are companies out there airbrushing far worse than us, why not just ban every image out there?! The mascara adverts are a particular niggle of mine too, blatantly ALL wearing falsies, why don't they pick on them? We have that particular picture of Julia Roberts on our counter and it shows with a closer look visible fine lines and wrinkles below her eyes, the airbrushing is far more apparent around her mouth and chin area. However we can't win as if we showed images of models with full on wrinkles, sun damage, age spots and blemishes people would stop buying any beauty products all together.

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  31. I feel bad for people who believe that they will get the results/look anything like what is portrayed in the ads. I find the worst set to be those with Kate Winslet for Lancome. Considering her comments on being photoshopped for a magazine, I find it bizarre that she allows Lancome ads that look nothing like her.

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  32. Great post and exactly why I rarely pay any attention to ads. Agree YouTube is fab - "real" people all the way! I recently read an article by Liz Jones on the Daily Mail online titled: "If face creams really beat ageing, I wouldn't have had a facelift" - this says everything you need to know really.

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  33. Well said! The mascara adverts in particular make me crazy. They are so obviously false lashes. If you can't even make your product look good on beautiful models with a professional photographer and need to completely falsify them then why would I be interested in your product! I stopped purchasing anything based on, or even really looking at, adverts a long time ago.

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  34. I completely agree with you on this. When I was a few years younger and just using eyeshadow, mascara, and eyeliner, I was amazed at how foundation worked. Obviously I was naive and sucked into the whole advertising "enhancements", and I remember feeling completely and utterly disappointed when I first tried out said foundation. And you know what else I don't like? I don't like how hair dye boxes mislead you with final colour "results". I have dark brown hair and the hair dye boxes always shows some sort of colour (albeit not as bright as the "results" for lighter hair), but when I go to dye my hair, there's absolutely no colour change. I am aware as to why this is, but it shouldn't be shown to have a noticeable colour change when it really doesn't.

    http://lecarpe.blogspot.com/

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  35. Earlier this year, Make Up For Ever released a print advert for, as I recall, their HD foundation. No retouching. I must say; it was quite refreshing to see.

    Meanwhile, I think the thing I resent most about ads like the ones you show, along with mascara ads, is that the companies presume we're (that's an overall "we") a bunch of idiots, and we're not. Most of us know companies pay someone to retouch the photographs, add false lashes to a model, or whatever else, to make their products seem better than they actually are. That said, how many of actually take the time to call them out on it? Essentially, it is false advertising, and they're getting away with it; they've gotten away with it for years. (Although, I think for some print mascara ads, there's a little note at the bottom saying false lashes were added for enhancement or whatnot.)

    Sigh.

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  36. Thanks for the post. Have not been keeping up so did not know the ads were banned. I think it goes par for course with upholding the regulations of only being able to advertise typical results. And posting photos of celebrities w/o wrinkles would imply that their product contributed to the look.

    I am with the rest love the you tube videos you and others do as they are the reality!

    The mascara ads never bothered me... perhaps b/c I have always thought they were ridiculous and have always bought based on recommendation.

    Keep the good stuff coming!

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  37. I couldn't agree more! Good for you! I'm a brand new follower & LOVE all that you create & represent. SO proud of the women you choose to be! Keep up the wonderful, inspiring work! You are making a difference & we are noticing! XO
    Calling All Dolls!

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  38. The worst are those mascara commercials and advertisements for the foundation, there is absolutely no one in the world that is so flawless skin on the advertisement, just because of photo shop.
    So I completely agree with what you / your writing.
    hug from the cat. xoxo

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  39. I find the mascara commercials the most stupid, as they always wear falsies -- ??!?!

    http://mrssashee.blogspot.com/

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  40. This is a great post. I grew up in a male dominated family and neither my Mother nor my Grandmother wore make-up. I bought piles of glossy magazines and tried to figure out how to apply make up to look like one of the beautiful women on the glossy ads. About a year ago I discovered your Utube make-up tutorials and I told all of my girlfriends. Thank you for teaching me how to apply make-up after so many years of wearing the wrong make-up and too much of it. Even though common sense tells us that the models in cosmetic ads are digitally enhanced, it is frustrating not to see a true representation of the products I am wanting to purchase. Thank you again for all of your wonderful videos.

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  41. i think photoshopping cosmetic ads is a silly idea anyway! it's not fully portraying the actual product and is setting unrealistic results, which just leads to disappointment anyway! http://openboxjewels.blogspot.com/ X

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  42. i completely agree! a great thing to put on your blog following this post would be the youtube video that dove has, it shows the transformation of a regular girl next door type, to a thinner longer faced, plumped lips, bigger slanted eyes longer brighter hair, model type. It is amazing. And these companies do it all the time!

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  43. oooo somebody else said the same thing!!! sorry. haha, she is s right, you may have seen it, but put it up! It is very interesting.

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  44. Great post! I can;t stand mascara adverts, there is no point of them cause its basically all lies xxx

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  45. the mascara ads don't bother me half as much as cosmetics that are said to improve your skin. women over 35 believe they can have young tight skin, and even worse, young girls spend what they don't have in acne "treatments" that never work... a mascara can cost up to 20 or even 30 pounds, but it's one makeup item tht "didn't work for me", while a miracle-moisturizer can cost over 100... and your self esteem for life.

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  46. [yet yes, by this theory ALL the makeup and cosmetics ads should be banned, no?] ;)))

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  47. These will never be banned in the US because the large corporations lobby the government constantly to prevent any kind of regulation from actually being enforced. 'Cause it's a free country, and we can all do what we want! The FDA can't tell us what to do!
    I'm still working on a viable way to go live in a civilized country.

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  48. I truly agree with the mascara ads. But personally, Bobby Brown makes the most horribly photoshopped "perfect face" ads.

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  49. so true, Lots of foundation ads promise a "new face" and mascara ads are just insane (we know they are fake lashes, the ads even say it in fine prints)
    http://berry-pink-diamonds.blogspot.com/

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  50. I seriously don't understand HOW mascara ads yet haven't been banned? They're completely misleading!

    Ad if you ask me, they should do ysome photoshop check in the magazines, and so on. Ads aren't the only one misleading... :/

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  51. This has always bugged me with cosmetic ads.

    However, I really love the MUFE unretouched ads they have. The first time I saw it in a magazine, it made me love them even more. If you guys haven't seen it, here it is (this is a large pic btw): http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/5163/makeupforeverhdadspring.jpg

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  52. The U.S will never make unlifelike adverts unlawful because the United States is too wrapped around the wallets of the corporations. They care only of money and not the mental health of any young person. They don't care if we the peope have health care....at all. They will toss sick people right out on the sidewalk straight from a hospital bed....and that is the truth....I have seen it with my own eyes.

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  53. I understand the age old rant about cosmetic companies misleading women and selling a false idea of beauty and the detrimental effect that may have on society but I also think that rants like this don't give women enough credit. We know the difference between what is photo shopped and what isn't - or at least most of us do. The world around us is filled with images that might heighten our expectations about a product. Is there an ideal that cosmetic companies should follow some higher moral code? Anytime you look through a magazine you'll see ads where the diamonds are more sparkly than they are in real life, or a sky is bluer than in real life - and with cosmetics adverts you just have to use some common sense. Throughout the history of advertising it has generally been about misleading people long enough to buy the product. They want people to buy their products, they want to glamourise it all and they certainly don't care if they're making women feel more beautiful with their products or not.

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  54. The FTC ruling only applies to Americans so it's only illegal for them to post videos and not disclose sponsorship. However it's not a bad idea to enforce across the board. The ads for that skin cream featuring Jane Fonda are particularly bad, especially when they are placed in a magazine featuring an article with herself. The comparison is shocking! The article's photo's makes her look well for her age in a diplomatic kind of way (light air brushing - flawless even skin tone but still well wrinkled) and then the there she is on the page opposite with the skin on a new born baby! I wouldn't mind but you would need a lot of surgical procedures to get those results. To put it simply, if these products could do what they imply on the ads then they would have to be prescribed by a doctor! Only a tretinoin cream would achieve some of what the ad implies is possible. Cosmetics usually do not contain active ingredients in high enough concentrations to be effective I'm afraid.

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  55. Good blog: You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned:) mobile makeup artist Sydney

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  56. Just in case anyone reading this post now was wondering, ads like this are being banned in the US as of about a month or two ago :) mostly the mascara ones, I know a few featuring Taylor Swift were pulled for that reason.

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