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Photoshop Scandal Redux: Companies May Have to Stop Photoshopping Ads

Photo: kmps radio

Quick on the heels of two Photoshop debacles that blew up our blog recently (see: The Great Photoshop Debate and H&M’s Scandal), here comes another. Last Friday, Procter & Gamble, the parent company of CoverGirl, pulled one of their NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara ads featuring Taylor Swift. The company made the move after the National Advertising Division (NAD), a watchdog agency and part of the Council of the Better Business Bureau, launched an investigation into their photoshopping practices.

Photo: Jezebel

The images show Swift, glam Country Rock star that she is, with ultra-lush lashes and the claim that NatureLuxe produces “2X more volume.” But the fine print explains that her lashes had been “enhanced in post-production.” Feels a bit misleading, right? Thus the reason the NAD was looking into the ads in the first place, and once the inquiry was launched, Procter & Gamble pulled them. The NAD then released a statement saying:

…[Procter & Gamble] advised NAD it has permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement. NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes. This picture is accompanied by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production.

The NAD’s inquiry and eventual ruling is notable because it’s precedent setting. It’s the first big move by a federal agency, that’s tied closely to the Federal Trade Commission, to actively stop companies from aggressive re-touching. Once the first decision is made, so comes the next and the next and the next to keep photoshopping to a minimum (or so we hope). It’s probably a long-shot to say that all companies will be barred from over-photoshopping in the future, but it’s a hopeful start down that road.

Do you think the photoshop frenzy has reached an all-time high? Tell us in the comments!

—Candice

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