The print ad for L'Oréal’s Revitalift Repair 10 starring Rachel Weisz has been banned by the ASA, for misrepresenting the results of the cream through post-production techniques.
A complaint about the McCann-Erickson ad was put forward by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson, who said that the ad was misleading, because she believed that the image of Rachel Weisz had been digitally manipulated and therefore misrepresented the results that the product could achieve.
L'Oréal said Rachel Weisz had been professionally styled and made-up and then lit and shot by a professional photographer in a studio setting, 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.
It said the black and white medium was also more flattering than a colour photograph and pointed out that the ASA had previously ruled that cosmetics ads could present their product in the best possible light.
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to expect a degree of glamour in images for beauty products and would therefore expect Rachel Weisz to have been professionally styled and made-up for the photo shoot, and to have been photographed professionally.
Although it considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of Rachel Weisz’s face, the ASA considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.
The ASA 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”.