Natalie Portman Dior Ad Banned in UK

by: Emily Kirkpatrick

October 25, 2012

According to the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency, Natalie Portman’s new Dior mascara ads are unfit for the public, despite not a single complaint being lodged from said public. In fact, the ad was reported to the ADA by L’Oreal UK, a competitor, who claimed that the ad was guilty of “misleadingly exaggerating the effects of the product.”

Natalie Portman Dior Banned WILD Fashion

Parfums Christian Dior replied to the accusations, saying that although the ad was originally intended to promote their lipstick, they changed their plans when they realized how beautiful Portman’s eyes are. Like every other advertising campaign photo, the image was then sent to the label’s team of retouchers who worked to “separate/increase the length and curve of a number of her lashes and to replace/fill a number of missing or damaged lashes, for a more stylized, uniform and tidy effect.”

The work the retouchers did on the Dior ad is completely standard in the industry. The results achieved in any mascara ad are always due to a combination of false eyelashes with the skills of  a talented retoucher, never something achieved through the use of a product. In a world where photoshopping is an acknowledged and accepted practice, most of us have come to recognize that any print image we see has first passed through a series of computer programs before reaching our eyes.

The ASA defended their decision to ban the campaign in the UK by saying that, although they find no fault with the image itself, that it could inspire unrealistic expectations in the consumer by using phrases like “an unrivalled lash creator effect” and “spectacular volume-multiplying effect.” With no complaints actually coming from consumers of the product, it raises the question of who the ASA is really trying to protect, its citizens or its corporations? 

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