L’Oréal are at it again. Today the UK Advertising Standards Authority have once more come down hard on one of their advertisements, which has now been banned. The ad was deemed flawed in one pretty critical respect. It was flagrantly — and knowingly — dishonest.
In pushing its Revitalift anti-wrinkle cream, L’Oréal have been presenting images of purported beneficiary Rachel Weiss without drawing attention to the fact that the photographs have been digitally enhanced. Yes, that’s right, the reason the nice lady in the photo doesn’t have wrinkles is not because Revitalift has skin-smoothing properties, it is because someone at L’Oréal is adept at using Photoshop.
What I think is particularly disturbing here is that L’Oréal are very clearly serial offenders. This is not the first time they have had one of their ads banned on the grounds of blatantly misleading women. It’s not even the first time they have been caught airbrushing photographs of celebrities in order to make it look like their products eliminate wrinkles.
They’re just after getting caught doing exactly the same thing in ads featuring Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts. That was part of a broader campaign that employed spurious jargon and (deliberately) incoherent reasoning to capitalise upon what they must assume is the scientific illiteracy of their customers. I blogged about this here.
So what happens? Well, they just go and do it again. Maybe I should just give up blogging.
L’Oréal really do hate women, don’t they?
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.