Country Pop Princess Taylor Swift is featured in an advertisement for mascara – CoverGirl’s NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara to be specific. It is a great shot except for one thing: we aren’t sure she is actually wearing that mascara, and if she is, that the mascara is what is making her lashes look so long and lush. This is because there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the ad that states that the photo has been photoshopped.
The National Advertising Division‘s (NAD) mission is “to review national advertising for truth and accuracy to foster public confidence in the credibility of advertising.” Before you snort and think to yourself “that ship has sailed,” understand that the division is part of the council of the Better Business Bureau. It considers itself a watchdog of false advertising.
NAD was formed in 1971, but has not taken a solid stance in the use of photoshop until now. Its decisions are usually respected in that it has a close relationship with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who has the power to fine, sue or bring an injunction against a particular company.
NAD director Andrea Levine told Business Insider, “You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’”
Procter and Gamble, the parent of CoverGirl, has agreed to pull all ads as well as never again run an ad for mascara that has used enhanced post-production or photoshopping.
NADs counterpart in the UK is the Advertising Standards Authority, who has already banned CoverGirl’s ads starring Taylor Swift, as well as late last month an advertisement featuring Dakota Fanning holding a bottle of Marc Jabcobs perfume provocatively between her legs. Before that, the banned ads starring Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts because they were photoshopped.
France has also asked for stronger regulations. In 2009, 50 politicians asked for health warnings to be placed on models’ images when they were retouched.
In addition, the FTC has also tightened rules to hold celebrities accountable if they make claims or implications in ads that they know are not true.
Step by step, the public fights back against advertising.
Photo from Taylor Swift CoverGirl ad