Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz's L'Oreal advertisement has been banned on the grounds of the ad being Misleadingly exaggerated.
Weisz, who has taken a stand on the theme of natural beauty, admitted to airbrushing in the picture used for the ad and also suggested her fellow stars to stop using Botox.
When the 41-year-old actress appeared around 20 years younger with a perfectly smooth skin in the campaign for L'Oreal's age-defying beauty products, she was asked questions.
The unrealistic image of the actress, who got married to her James Bond husband Daniel Craig just last year, has been digitally airbrushed to enhance and even out her complexion.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced Feb 1 a ban on the magazine advertisement for L'Oreal's Revitalift Repair 10.
The ASA ruled that the image used for the ad misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product, hence deceiving the customers.
Earlier, too, there have been incidents of advertisements being banned for the images being exaggerated reality and giving false impression of the results of using beauty products.
An Olay anti-ageing product advertisement that featured Twiggy was banned in 2009 and last year itself, a L'Oreal ad featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington were also banned, stating that the airbrushed images were misleading.
Lib-Dem MP Jo Swinson, who is campaigning against the use of airbrushing and unrealistic images of beauty in advertising, is the co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence. She was quoted as saying by Mailonline: The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images.
The banning of this advert, along with the previous ASA rulings banning heavily retouched ads featuring Twiggy, Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, should act as a wake-up call. Thankfully the advertising regulator has again acknowledged the fraudulent nature of excessive retouching, she added.
She further said that psychiatrists have spoken of the harm that advertisements can cause to one's self image. She said that media stereotyping physical perfection and the usage of faked and airbrushed images are an area of concern.
Swinson said that there was a need for diversifying advertising in terms of people modeling in ads should be with different skin colours, body shapes, sizes and ages, in order to avoid defining perfection and beauty.
She said images could still be aspirational without being faked or manipulated.
The marketing for L'Oreal's Revitalift range claims that it makes the skin feel firmer, toned, and supple. The ASA has not challenged these claims. However, it was unhappy that the actress's image was used to substantiate the claims that the skin looks smoother and complexion looks more even, said the Mailonline report.
In its defense, L'Oreal said: The ad sought to represent Rachel Weisz as favorably as possible and, therefore, every effort had gone into ensuring the most flattering set-up. Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting.
It also added that that the photo was shot using a lot of light to make the picture more flattering and flawless and by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution.
The company also admitted the image had been subsequently retouched.
The ASA said, We considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.