Airbrushed Twiggy advert ruled misleading by watchdog

Martin Hickman
Wednesday 16 December 2009 01:00 GMT

An advert starring the model Twiggy was airbrushed to give a false impression of the beauty product she was promoting, the advertising watchdog has found.

In yesterday's ruling, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticised the digital enhancement of Twiggy's eyes by Procter & Gamble in a magazine campaign for Olay Definity eye cream. The verdict is a victory for the Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson.

She is campaigning to end the airbrushing of women in advertising, which she believes distorts women's views of the attractiveness of their own bodies and contributes to psychological problems. Ms Swinson forwarded 700 complaints about the advert from members of the public to the ASA.

"All the complainants [argued that] the ad was misleading because they believed the image of Twiggy had been digitally retouched. The people who complained as part of Jo Swinson's campaign also complained that the ad was socially irresponsible," the ASA said.

The watchdog upheld complaints about the advert being misleading but ruled that it was socially responsible. Ms Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, said: "If advertisers think that someone as beautiful as Twiggy needs to be so heavily airbrushed, then what hope is there for the rest of us?"

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