It seems like every other day the British Advertising Standards Authority is banning an ad for being too Photoshopped, but you don’t see the same thing happening here in America. But if the National Advertising Division has its way, you won’t see Photoshopped ads at all.
Business Insider reports that NAD (great acronym, right?) is tightening the rules related to using Photoshop in advertising, specifically when it misleading to consumers. So if your astringent ad promises to make your pores two times smaller, but the ad designed to sell it erases them completely during post production, it’ll soon be liable to be erased from public view.
The rule tightening comes in response to a CoverGirl mascara ad that promised to pump up the volume of its users lashes — like most mascaras are wont to do. But the fine print included an itty bitty disclaimer that said the model’s lashes had been enhanced after the photo was taken, and that didn’t fly with NAD.
“You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really,’” said NAD director Andrea Levine.
All the hoopla got CoverGirl parent company Procter & Gamble to agree never to run the ad again, and while NAD is a very powerful organization (it has strong ties to the Federal Trade Commission, which can sanction businesses in a slew of fun and inconvenient ways) it’s not an official or enforceable government policy. Still, if NAD can get a corporation as large Procter & Gamble to bow down to its rulings, we wouldn’t be surprised if other ad makers did the same, just out of fear.
The NAD admitted in its ruling on the ad that it was following in the footsteps of its British counterpart, the British Advertising Standards Authority, which earlier this year banned ads featuring Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington for using Photoshop.