“Don’t listen to what the media says, you’re beautiful just the way you are.” This phrase is almost as cliché and worn out as people who actually spend their time trying to look like celebrities. Beauty depicted in the media seems to be unattainable and a formula for products to be sold to those desperate for a better look.
The media is sometimes guilty of stretching the truth and businesses try to show the most beautiful image that can sell their product. However, the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) did not seem to love and give in to the “beautiful” portrait of Natalie Portman in her newest Dior ad.
The formal complaint regarding the mascara ad was set forth by the competitor L’Oreal, pointing to regulations on the ASA website.
The ASA banned the ad in the United Kingdom because they determined that Portman’s eyelashes looked too exaggerated and cannot be achieved naturally. The ASA website gives misleading advertising a whole chapter in their codes saying, “Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.”
Dior sent out a statement claiming that the photo was retouched but not as drastically as the complaints that were made.
I’m usually not easily swayed with products that feature the most beautiful models to sell because bottom line all I care is that it works. I understand that it is wrong to promote something misleadingly but the ad itself shows long lashes but not any differently from other mascara ads.
You can see that some retouching was done but nothing too exaggerated like having extremely long eye lashes to a point that would be too ridiculous and fake. I see the point the ASA wanted to make but it is ironic that of all the other truly exaggerated advertisements, this one was banned.
Advertising has its clear do’s and don’ts but not many are seeing why the ASA would pull the ad from being shown. “I find it strange that it would be okay to advertise a burger using a half naked model…To say that Natalie Portman is being exaggerated is an exaggeration in itself,” said senior Jessica Fierros.
Portman’s Dior ad was fairly simple and did not show her posing outlandishly or doing anything else out of the ordinary. For my part, I believe that it did its job and showcased the mascara that was being promoted and was not any different from other ads.
However, I agree that there should be regulations on what companies can put on their advertisements because it is better to give the consumer the information straight out instead of selling an image that will fall flat since its unattainable.
Appeal is a big reason why people purchase products, but there should be a small bit of common sense that should spark in people that what you see is not always reality.