Rachel Weisz L'Oreal advert banned for being digitally enhanced

Bad news for L’Oreal, the cosmetics company is in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority again.

Their ad featuring actress Rachel Weisz has been banned by the UK watchdogs following a complaint from Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the ad ‘misleadingly exaggerated’ the promised effect of the product.

The black and white image for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Repair anti-wrinkle cream claims to target 10 signs of ageing in one.

Left: L'Oreal Revitalift ad. Right: Rachel Weisz © L'Oreal/ Rex

[See also: Controversial fashion and beauty ads of 2011]

Yet Miss Swindon and the ASA felt the Weisz's perfectly smooth complexion was not a positive representation of beauty achievable by women after it had been airbrushed. 

The industry watchdog said: “Re-touching images is acceptable so long as the resulting effect was not one which misleadingly exaggerated the effect that the product was capable of achieving.

“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.”

Meanwhile L’Oreal admitted the image had been retouched and defended the extent to which it has been manipulated.

They said the ad represented Weisz as favourably as possible and every effort was made to produce the most flattering image.

“Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting.

The company added: “The photo was shot using a lot of light in order to make the picture more flattering and to reduce the appearance of imperfections in the ensuing image by giving the image a soft focus and lower resolution.”

Weisz is not the first actress to have a cosmetics ad banned. Last year L’Oreal were accused of misleading consumers with their ads for Lancôme and Maybelline products featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.

Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington's ads were banned in 2011 © L'Oreal

There is increasing pressure for beauty companies to tone down the use of retouching as a series of ads have been banned in the UK and internationally for being too unrealistic.

Swindon, who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image said: “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.”

New beauty secret revealed: Fotoshop by Adobe

Retouched images that have gone too far

L'Oreal airbrushing ad banned in the UK

Most popular

  • The Kate Middleton Effect Strikes Again, DVF Dress Sells Out in Eight  …
    The Kate Middleton Effect Strikes Again, DVF Dress Sells Out in Eight  …

    The Kate Middleton effect strikes again. The £292 Diane Von Furstenberg dress that Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge wore in Australia has sold out online in EIGHT minutes. That’s got to be a record, right? …

  • 15 clever beauty uses for Vaseline
    15 clever beauty uses for Vaseline

    If I had to name one beauty product that I can't live without, Vaseline ranks pretty high on my list. I have tins of the stuff of everywhere including on my desk, in my bag and in the car. Not only is it super cheap but it has endless beauty uses. Want to use yours as a more than just a lip balm? Then check out these top 15 uses for Vaseline. …

  • Lady Gaga's Pre-Photoshopped Versace Campaign Leaked
    Lady Gaga's Pre-Photoshopped Versace Campaign Leaked

    She’s heavily made up at all times. So Lady Gaga can’t be happy today as her unretouched Versace campaign images have been leaked, revealing the star without make-up and before she was heavily airbrushed. …

  • Kylie Minogue: Vogue Australia's Photoshop Blunder
    Kylie Minogue: Vogue Australia's Photoshop Blunder

    Pint sized beauty Kylie Minogue appears to have received the photoshop treatment on Vogue Australia's May 2014 cover. Her fans are less than impressed. …

  • Is A Fringe The New Anti-Aging Treatment?
    Is A Fringe The New Anti-Aging Treatment?

    Sarah Harding recently admitted that her new fringe meant she could hide her wrinkles. And it seems the former Girls Aloud star might be onto something as ‘bangs’ have been labeled the new anti-aging treatment. …