Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overly Airbrushed L'oreal Ads Banned in the UK

L'oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts (for Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation) and Christy Turlington (for Maybelline's The Eraser) were banned by the ASA after assessing that both ads violated clauses 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) of "UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing" aka CAP Code. (Read full story here.)

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The ASA or Advertising Standard's Authority is an independent organization, applying the mandatory Advertising Codes to ensure that advertisements remain legal, decent, honest and truthful. The ASA’s authority is recognized by the Government, the courts, and other regulatory offices.

At present, RA 7394 or The Consumer Act of the Philippines is the main law used to safeguard the interests of the consumers and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. However, it does not address the unethical practices of advertisers regarding fallacious and misleading claims. On the other hand, the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) is a mere self-regulatory board composed of various organizations within the industry itself, without any adjudicatory powers like the ASA. While they do have their own Advertising Code of Ethics, there are no consequences for violations. At best, it only serves as a general model for the industry to follow.

Technology has made it possible for airbrushing and digital manipulation (Photoshop) to be the norm by which the world of advertising revolves. In fact L'oreal admitted that the image had been digitally retouched but still "accurately illustrated" the achievable results. In a world where paradigms do not equate to reality, consumers have the right to be informed of the products they are buying as well as be protected against abuses against misleading advertisements. After all, who wouldn't want to look 20 or even 30 years younger?
Advertising is an excellent tool in the field of marketing. However, maintaining good standards to keep good taste, as well as ethical parameters in the business world, is a must. --- From a 39 yr. old Dad

Entry No. 6
Soleil Flores

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