Photoshop Ban in the United States?

“Procter & Gamble has agreed to never again run an ad for its CoverGirl mascara because it used “enhanced post-production” and “photoshopping” to make eyelashes look thicker than they were in real life. P&G agreed to the ban even though it disclosed in the ad that the image was enhanced.” – Source

This is the image in question:

Essentially, Procter and Gamble, decided to pull the CoverGirl ad because of a use of Photoshop that tricks potential buyers into buying products that may not work as advertised.

This hasn’t been the first time something like this has happened. This image below of Julia Roberts showcases another ad that was banned for Lancome Paris.

But why did the pull it and what prevents them from keeping it up?

“The company’s decision was described in a ruling by the National Advertising Division, the U.S. industry watchdog that imposes self-regulation on the advertising business. NAD is part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Its rulings are respected and followed by most advertisers because it enjoys a close relationship with the FTC, from which it has historically drawn some of its senior staff. Recalcitrant advertisers who refuse to withdraw or amend misleading ads are referred by the NAD to the FTC, which has the power to fine, sue or bring injunctions against companies.” – Source

So it seems there’s definitely some type of restriction but it’s apparently very loose. Otherwise we’d be seeing a lot more ads being pulled. In realistic terms, pretty much every ad is misleading. This is something that they could expand further than just cosmetics. For instance, food products:


Not only is there plenty of retouching that goes into food as well, but there’s also deceptive photography. So where does the deception really begin if the intent of pulling ads are to keep advertisements honest?

It’s a fine line and you can pull a case in any direction. Although I will admit cosmetic ads get some of the biggest makeovers from their original photos. It’s so extensive that there’s not even a chance you will look like that if you use the products in some of these images!

With that in mind, I don’t see a complete retouching ban even if the intent is to mislead consumers, otherwise everyone would be in big trouble.

Retouching isn’t going anywhere, sorry people.


Pratik Naik Author Bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *