Oscar winning actress Julia Roberts is known for her big smile, her breakout role in Pretty Woman and aging gracefully in Hollywood at the age of 43 with three children.
L’Oreal was well aware of this and people’s general obsession with perfection when they placed Julia in an ad for their Lancome makeup foundation, but that wasn’t enough. Instead L’Oreal decided it would work harder to convince the public that Julia is completely flawless — with Lancome foundation of course.
It’s the same case for long-time model Christy Turlington who also saw her makeup ad pulled for Maybeline.
According to NewsFeed, the L’Oreal ads featuring Roberts and Christy Turlington were banned for allegedly “misleading” the public by displaying unrealistic portrayals of flawless skin.
Jo Swinson (a prominent Parliament Democrat), initially complained to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) that the adds were intentionally misleading the public.
When recently interviewed by The Guardian, Swinson remarked;
“Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don’t reflect reality. Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm.”
This encouraged Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA to follow up with remarks of his own. Parker stated;
“If advertisers go too far in using airbrushing and other post-production techniques to alter the appearance of models and it’s likely to mislead people, then that’s wrong and we’ll stop the ads.”
The BBC reports that although the ASA took their complaints to L’Oreal, owner of the LancÃ´me brand, the cosmetic company refused to supply the original images for comparison.
Honestly these ads are no different from the ads featured in your monthly fashion magazines – perceived perfection is built into every day advertising – will this ruling impact the already struggling print industry? On a lighter note, should Julia Roberts and/or Christy Turlington be offended?! Just wondering…