ASA Adjudication on L'Oréal (UK) Ltd
L'Oréal (UK) Ltd t/a
255 Hammersmith Road
1 February 2012
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A press ad for a moisturiser featured a photograph of Jane Fonda. Text stated "Your experience. Our expertise. AGE RE-PERFECT Pro-Calcium + SPF15 Trust Science for skin that feels toned, smoother, more resilient".
The complainants challenged whether the image misleadingly exaggerated the effect that could be achieved by the product.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
L'Oréal (UK) Ltd (L'Oreal Paris) stated that Age Re-Perfect had been developed for mature skin and that, when it was applied, it improved the condition, feel and appearance of the skin. They stated that the image of Jane Fonda that appeared in the ad was an accurate representation of the Age Re-Perfect spokesmodel and was consistent with other images of her that had appeared in the general media during the same period. They also acknowledged that a less flattering image of Jane Fonda had appeared in a magazine article that was published in the magazine in which of the ads appeared, but stated that, when considered collectively the image of Jane Fonda in the ad was in line with recent images of her in the media in general.
They stated that the press ad for Age Re-Perfect clearly sought to represent Jane Fonda as favourably as possible and that every effort had therefore been made to ensure the most flattering set-up. The image had been shot in a studio with lots of light, designed to minimise shadows (which can emphasise wrinkles) and that the camera had used a soft focus effect to "camouflage" any wrinkles and imperfections. They added that her wide smile, the effect of which could be seen on the lips and around the eyes, had stretched the skin and had therefore minimised the look of wrinkles. They added that her make-up was also flattering and that the foundation that had been used contained a lot of sheen and iridescence, which gave a further softness to the overall effect. They provided details of the post production techniques that had been used. They stated that they had represented the image of their model in her most positive light but believed that this did not exaggerate the effects that could be achieved by the product.
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to expect a degree of glamour in images for beauty products and would therefore expect Jane Fonda to have been professionally styled and made-up for the photo shoot, and to have been photographed professionally. We also acknowledged that advertisers were keen to present their products in their most positive light using techniques such as post-production enhancement and the re-touching of images. We considered this approach was acceptable so long as the resulting effect was not one which misleadingly exaggerated the effect the product was capable of achieving. We examined the evidence and information provided by L'Oréal Paris and noted the overall appearance of the image of Jane Fonda that appeared in the ad had not been significantly modified. We therefore concluded that the image in the ad did not exaggerate the effect that could be achieved by the product and that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.