Mascara ads have always mystified us. Can the product in question really give you such exaggerated results without looking clumpy and gross? Rimmel has proven that no, their mascara can’t. But they’d like you to think otherwise, which is why they outfitted Georgia May Jagger in a lush pair of falsies for their most recent advertising campaign.
The British Advertising Standards Authority won’t have any of it, however, and has banned the sneaky “1-2-3 Looks Mascara” commercial from the airwaves. They’ve also banned the Rimmel mascara ads from running in magazines. Both the print ads and TV commercials included fine print that read “shot with lash inserts,” which is a painful-sounding British term for fake lashes. Regardless, the ASA didn’t find those disclaimers sufficient.
Coty UK (who owns Rimmel) had this to say: “[The images] were an accurate representation of the three differing lash looks that could be achieved by using the product. The different length lash inserts were not intended to mislead consumers about the products achievable effects, but made the effects recognisable for the camera in a close-up professional and highly stylised photo shoot.”
The ASA obviously rebutted: “Because we considered that the use of different length lash inserts applied to the eyelash area was likely to distort the visual representation of the effect achievable from the use of the product alone, we concluded the images in the ad were misleading.”
This is not the first time Rimmel has been in trouble for distorting mascara ads. In 2007 they came under fire for their ads which featured a bedroom-eyed Kate Moss sporting digitally-enhanced lashes.
Do you think the ad below is misleading?