Airbrushed Julia Roberts ad called 'overly perfected' by U.K. agency

July 27, 2011 at 11:42 AM ET

Makeup ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington won't be part of a U.K. ad campaign after the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority deemed the airbrushing used in post-production to be misleading to the consumer.

The Guardian first reported that parliament member Jo Swinson, who's been against "overly perfected and unrealistic images" of women in advertisements, lodged complaints with the ASA over ad campaigns for L'Oreal-owned brands Lancome and Maybelline that featured Roberts and Turlington.

The ASA made its decision that the ads were indeed misleading, but did so without the help of before and after shots. However, that's not the fault of the Authority, apparently: Roberts reportedly stipulated in her contract that no unairbrushed shots can be released. Instead, the authority received red carpet shots of both Roberts and Turlington.

L'Oreal's defense for using their Turlington image was the company "believed the image used was consistent with the public perception of the model Christy Turlington who was a beautiful woman with a naturally fantastic complexion." They also said that "fine lines under the eye, crow's feet, expression lines on the cheek and lines and pores near the model's nose were nevertheless clearly visible, even on areas where the product had been applied.

As for Roberts, arguments similar to Turlington's were made, and that photographer Mario Testino's use of light, and Roberts' "naturally healthy and glowing skin" were to be credited for the post-production photo.

So to summarize: a makeup company made up their talent for an ad, but maybe they did so to an extent that it's misleading. However, we'll never know, because the talent in question won't release a photo of what they look like without the aid of cosmetics and a professional photographer's lighting. A little extreme? Thoughts? Comment below.

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