Should Airbrushed Ads Be Banned?

Airbrushed magazine ads featuring Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington have been banned in the UK for being misleading. So will we start to see more realistic advertising in the future?

UK MP Jo Swinson say the images are “not representative of the results the products could achieve” and believe they place pressure on women who compare themselves with the pictures. The Advertising Standards Authority agreed that the images breach its code on misleading and exaggeration.

L’Oreal have been forced to withdraw a Lancome campaign featuring 43-year-old Roberts promoting the foundation Teint Miracle. The company admitted that airbrushing techniques had been used, but insisted the image was an accurate representation of the actress’ “naturally healthy and glowing skin”.

Roberts has previously condemned Hollywood’s obsession with youth, calling it “shallow.

42-year-old Turlington’s ad for Maybelline’s “anti-ageing” foundation The Eraser has also been banned. In the ad parts of her face have apparently been covered with the foundation while other areas were left makeup-free to show the effects of the foundation.

The ad claims the foundation “Conceals instantly, visibly, precisely… covers dark circles and fine lines to help conceal crow’s feet – as if erased!” L’Oreal admitted the image had been digitally retouched to “lighten the skin, clean up make-up, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows”. However it maintains those results could be obtained by regular users.

A number of UK politicians have set up the Campaign for Body Confidence, calling on advertising to be truthful about their use of digital manipulation.

“Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around but they don’t reflect reality,” said Swinson. “With one in four people feeling depressed about their body, it’s time to consider how these idealised images are distorting our idea of beauty.”

What do you think? Should airbrushed ads be banned?