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Rachel Weisz L’Oreal Advert Banned

Rakhi Sinha on the black and white image that really was too good to be true

Written by . Published on February 1st 2012.

Rachel Weisz L’Oreal Advert Banned

IF the recent L’Oreal Paris anti-wrinkle advert featuring the flawless, Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz seemed too good to be true, that’s because it was.

Advertising watchdogs said that the cosmetics company used post-production techniques which manipulated Weisz’s face making it appear smooth, wrinkle-free and realistically unattainable.

The advert for the beauty firm’s Revitalift Repair 10, was banned this week after it was reported to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) by Scottish Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson.

‘Skin looks smoother, complexion looks more even,’ the magazine advert claimed. ‘It's not a facelift, it's Revitalift.’

But the advert for the anti-wrinkle cream was judged by the ASA to have ‘misleadingly exaggerated’ the product after Weisz’s skin was retouched to look flawless.

Advertising watchdogs said that the cosmetics company used post-production techniques which manipulated Weisz’s face making it appear smooth, wrinkle-free and realistically unattainable.

Shock, horror! This isn’t the first time a beauty giant has used digital enhancing techniques to airbrush a superstar for one of their advertising campaigns.

Regular readers of glossy mags won’t be surprised by this, but it is a contrast to the double-page spreads in the same magazines which feature images of a cellulite-ridden Beyoncé frolicking on the beach, a wrinkly Madonna taking her kids to school, and shots of Gwyneth Paltrow complete with crow’s feet. They must have forgotten to use their cream that day - or could it be they’re actually just like all the rest of us mere mortals and wonder creams don’t actually exist?

No Nonsense: MP Jo SwinsonNo Nonsense: MP Jo Swinson

In their ruling the ASA said: “Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of Rachel Weisz’s face, we considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.

“We therefore concluded that the image in the ad misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product in relation to the claims ‘skin looks smoother’ and ‘complexion looks more even.’

In their defence, L’Oreal maintained they had chosen a black and white portrait of Weisz, complete with plenty of styling, make up and lighting in order to ensure they could present their product in the best possible light.

They also said that as a responsible advertiser they wished to ensure they were compliant with the advertising code, and provided the ASA with images and information which showed what level of post-production had taken place to the image.

MP Jo Swinson is part of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and has been a regular campaigner against misleading adverts for beauty products. She has successfully made complaints against a Lancome advert featuring Julia Roberts and a Maybelline advert featuring the supermodel Christy Turlington.

L’Oreal Paris been warned by the ASA not to use post-production techniques in such a way that misrepresented what was achievable using the advertised product, but this probably won’t be the last advert Swinson reports to the ASA.

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Janie1509February 6th 2012.

I abolutely hate the way airbrushed photos get thrown into the media aimed at making both men and women feel something is wrong if you don't have a face that looks like it's just been ironed! I'm so happy that this particular image has been banned - it's not as though Rachel Weisz isn't stunning naturally but why do they feel the need to project a totally false image? Get real for God's sake, show the true effects of using your products and if they work men and women will buy them repeatedly!!

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