This Nivea ad looks harmless enough. A woman who has a few wrinkles and the typical look of aging is the face of the brand’s Vital moisturizing cream. There is no nudity circa the banned ‘Project Runway’ ad, so what’s the deal?
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the U.K. has yanked the ad and deemed it “misleading.” Cindy Joseph, 62-year-old model, fronts the campaign that claims the cream, “Visibly reduces wrinkles, improves firmness, and helps prevent age spots.”
When the ASA compared un-airbrushed shots of Cindy to the finished product, the retouching was drastic that the independent enforcing authority found it “misleadingly exaggerated the effect that could be achieved by the product.” As a result the ads have been banned in the UK. (The cream only sells overseas, but you can buy it online.)
This is the first time ads have been banned for giving an unrealistic expectation. In 2011 Julia Roberts, Christy Turlington and Taylor Swift were all shut out after their respective ads for L’Oreal and CoverGirl were all airbrushed beyond an acceptable level.
What do you think of the rulings? Too harsh or does it send a message to advertisers that we want to get back down to reality?