Miss-leading Dior: Natalie Portman 'miracle' mascara advert banned by consumer watchdog

 

Matilda Battersby
Wednesday 24 October 2012 22:09
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An advert for a Christian Dior mascara featuring actress Natalie Portman which has been banned for exaggerating the effect of the product on her lashes
An advert for a Christian Dior mascara featuring actress Natalie Portman which has been banned for exaggerating the effect of the product on her lashes

Natalie Portman’s eyelashes have been the subject of intense scrutiny after a Christian Dior advert for mascara featuring the actress and the “miracle effects” of the makeup was banned for misleading consumers.

The magazine ad for the "Dior Show New Look" mascara showed an image of Portman with accompanying text stating: "Lash-multiplying effect volume and care mascara. The miracle of a nano brush for an unrivalled lash creator effect. It delivers spectacular volume-multiplying effect, lash by lash".

Cosmetics rival L'Oreal UK challenged the Dior ad complaining it misleadingly exaggerated the likely effects of the product and prompting an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation.

In defence Dior said the ad was “stylised” and “aspirational” and that the company had not received any complaints from consumers considering that this demonstrated that the ad did not go beyond likely consumer expectations.

Dior admitted that Portman’s eyelashes were digitally retouched in post-production using Photoshop, but said this was primarily to “separate and increase the length and curve of a number of her lashes and to replace a number of missing or damaged lashes”.

The company defended itself by saying the image of Portman had not initially been intended for use in a mascara campaign, but was taken to promote a lipstick.

The ASA ruled that there was insufficient evidence to show that the Photoshop retouching exaggerated the effects of the product, but concluded that it was likely to mislead consumers.

It “noted Dior's view that the ad's text did not contain any claims regarding the lengthening of lashes, we considered that the ad's claims…particularly in conjunction with the image of Portman's eyelashes, would be understood to mean that the mascara could lengthen the lashes, as well as separate them, increase their thickness and volume, and generally enhance lash appearance.”

The advert must not be shown again in its current form.

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