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 therefore misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product in relation to the claims “SKIN LOOKS SMOOTHER” and “COMPLEXION LOOKS MORE EVEN”.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).
“But [airbrushing] is a very important issue. It’s important because it has an impact on health. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has said very clearly that they think excessive retouching – and I would talk about this in a much wider context anyway, because it’s not just about retouching cosmetics adverts, it’s about the whole range of body image pressure on men and women – but this kind of culture creates a huge amount of pressure on people, and that can lead to self-esteem problems. At extreme ends, we have rising rates of eating disorders, and we [also] have a much larger section of the population that engages in what they would call disordered eating rather than eating disorders. And then, from an educational point of view, there’s research that shows young people are less likely to participate actively in class on days when they’re not feeling confident about their appearance.”