Ban on excessively retouched ads sends a powerful message to advertisers – Jo

Heavily airbrushed foundation adverts by Maybelline and Lancôme have been banned following a complaint by Campaign for Body Confidence co-founder Jo.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today ruled that the advertisements for foundation products by Maybelline and Lancôme, owned by cosmetics giant L’Oréal, breached industry codes.

The regulator said it did not have enough evidence to prove that the images accurately represented what the foundations could achieve, and the ads – featuring extensive digital retouching to the skin of actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington – were deemed likely to mislead.

Commenting, Jo said:

“This ruling demonstrates that the advertising regulator is acknowledging the dishonest and misleading nature of excessive retouching. Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don’t reflect reality. With one in four people feeling depressed about their body, it’s time to consider how these idealised images are distorting our idea of beauty.

“Shockingly, even the ASA weren’t contractually allowed to see the pre-production photo of Julia Roberts. It shows just how ridiculous things have become when there is such fear over an unairbrushed photo that even the advertising regulator isn’t permitted to see it. Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don’t need retouching to look great. This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let’s get back to reality.”


The Advertising Standards Agency published their decision today on complaints submitted by Jo Swinson MP on Lancôme’s ‘Teint Miracle’ foundation, and Maybelline’s ‘The Eraser’ foundation. The regulator has ruled that both advertisements must not appear in their current form again. For more information on the decision and details of the complaints, visit:

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