Kate Moss mascara advert was misleading, ASA rules

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The Independent Online

Advertisements for Rimmel mascara in which Kate Moss's eyelashes were digitally enhanced broke advertising industry rules, watchdogs have concluded.

Three months after a L'Oréal mascara advert was criticised for featuring the actress Penelope Cruz in false lashes, Rimmel's promotion starring the Croydon-born model has similarly incurred the wrath of the Advertising Standards Authority. The agency behind Rimmel's television and magazine campaigns denied that Moss wore false lashes during the shoot but produced no evidence to prove it, the authority said.

Rimmel's "Magnif'eyes mascara" adverts broke the rules by using images which may have exaggerated the product's benefits, it added. And the television advert's claim that the mascara gave "70 per cent more lash lift" could have misled viewers because it referred to a change in appearance, not actual lash length.

J Walter Thompson, the advertising agency behind Rimmel's campaign, told the authority that Moss's eyelashes were "cleaned up and enhanced" in post-production but did not explain the extent to which their appearance had been changed.

It insisted that Moss did not wear false lashes at the shoot but supplied no evidence to support its denial.

The ASA ruled: "Because we had not received documentary evidence that Kate Moss was not wearing false lashes in the ads, we concluded that the images of the eyelashes in the press and TV ads may have exaggerated the benefits of the product and were likely to mislead consumers."

The watchdog added: "Because the claim '70 per cent more lash lift' referred to an increase in the appearance of the lash length, and not an actual increase, we concluded that the ad could mislead."

The ASA banned Rimmel from repeating the advert in its present form and told it to include a disclaimer in future promotions if post-production techniques or false lashes were used to improve appearance.