Makeup Companies Run Into Legal Trouble For Too Much Photoshopping… And Not Enough Photoshopping

from the damned-if-you-do,-damned-if-you-don't dept

There’s a story making the rounds about how the UK Advertising Standards Authority is banning certain cosmetics advertisements including Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, because the images are way too Photoshopped.

The ASA says that ads can’t mislead, and the makeup company (in this case L’Oreal) did not provide enough evidence that the digital alterations did not, in fact, mislead.

Now, this story was interesting on its own, but what made it even more interesting is that another makeup firm, Estee Lauder, seems to be in a legal dispute, for the exact opposite reason. Ima Fish recently alerted us to the news that model Caroline Louise Forsling had sued the company for the following advertisement:

She claims that the photo was just a “test shot” before any makeup was applied, and was for a different product. She claims that the showing of her untouched-up face on the left has ‘irreparably’ damaged her career. Of course, in suing over this, she effectively admits that the image on the left is the untouched-up image. She could have just as easily told people that the right-hand side was the “real” image, and the left-hand one was digitally altered, and gotten on with her life.

Either way, it should be noted that in both of these stories, they’re about supposed “anti-aging” products, and I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that digitally altering images is how such products are advertised, rather than showing any actual before and after shots, because I imagine “real results” are likely to vary from what’s seen in any of these ads.

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Companies: estee lauder, l'oreal

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Comments on “Makeup Companies Run Into Legal Trouble For Too Much Photoshopping… And Not Enough Photoshopping”

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Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

A lot of those pictures have more to do with lighting, pose, clothing, etc than they have to do with make up.

Some of those pictures are obviously comparing without to touched up/photoshopped images.

Some of those pictures I have a hard time believing that the “without makeup” picture is even the same person as the “with”, for example, Angelina Jolie. If the “without” is really Angelina, it’s her from a long time ago, before any plastic surgery she’s done. So again, make up isn’t the factor.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Amen. My wife pretty much never wore makeup (and as far as I know, still does not), and I was always happy with things that way.

The Ms. Forsling on the left looks quite attractive to me. Of course, I’m not trying to hire her as a model.

I guess the real issue is what sells, and real people don’t sell. Glitz and plastic sells. Unrealistic and distorted body images sell. Removing all signs of physical maturity sells. But real faces, real bodies? Disgusting.

chris says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here, here.

Also, what’s with the anti-aging crap? Why is it considered bad to look old when you are old? In other cultures it’s something that commands respect. But not us, noooooo. Even if I could look 20 years younger, I wouldn’t want to. It would be totally awkward and it usually looks that way.

Let’s suppose that a women wears makeup to make herself look attractive. However what she really cares about is looking attractive in a relative sense, compared to those around her. However, now all the women around her begin to do the same thing. What has been gained? Nothing. Between makeup and clothes, it just becomes a race to the bottom and that is exactly what is happening.

drewmo (profile) says:

In the second case, you didn’t link to a story, but googling I find this:

And from that, it doesn’t seem that she’s saying that the left-side of the photo is untouched. In fact, she’s stating that the photo is digitally manipulated (obviously), but makes no claim about what specifically (or, which side) is manipulated.

“the so-called ‘dramatization’ of the product did not result from the use of the product by Forsling, but rather reflected [their] manipulation of a photograph.” So all they’re saying there is that the photo is touched-up. Where do they say that the left-half is untouched?

She’s saying she didn’t consent to that use of that photo, and that’s where she notes that it was just based on a test photo. So that just sounds like a disagreement about who owns what rights to the photo.

Anonymous Coward says:

She could have just as easily told people that the right-hand side was the “real” image, and the left-hand one was digitally altered, and gotten on with her life


She could have just as easily told people that the left-hand side was the real image and that she looked great for her age and was proud, and happy, of the way she looked.

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