Photo Editing: How Much Is Too Much?

28 Jul

Banned L'Oreal Ad

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain is trying to take the guessing out of that question. This organization, funded by a levy on the advertisement industry, is looking to regulate the retouching of photographs used in advertisement. The ASA is tasked with regulating advertisement related content and investigating complaints made about such material.

The ASA’s most recent gripe is with print ads for L’Oreal’s Tient Miracle makeup featuring Julia Roberts and Chrsity Turlington. They claim that the advertisements have undergone extensive retouching and a portray unrealistic results that the product would not likely achieve. While L’Oreal admits to retouching there are disputes as to how much retouching actually took place, and the model’s contracts happen to prohibit the release of untouched images. Regardless, the above ad has been banned in the UK. Read the full story here.

While I think, at this point, we all expect retouching and photo editing to occur, particularly in a makeup ad, we tend to dance around its prevalence.  We know photo editing is there, but at the same time we like to think that we are looking at a factual image. It can be tough to shake the “a photograph is proof” mentality, therefore, there can be a fine line between good advertising and false advertising, whether or not the editing was done in bad faith. That being said, I hardly think that these makeup ads are the worst examples I have seen of heavy retouching, but we all pick our battles right? What are you thoughts, did L’Oreal go to far?

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One Response to “Photo Editing: How Much Is Too Much?”

  1. Charles Kenny July 28, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    And here’s just a few comparative examples: http://www.hemmy.net/2007/05/25/celebrities-before-and-after-photoshop/

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