Ad description

A TV ad for Maybelline New York's Total Temptation mascara, seen on 3 February 2018, featured a 'before' and 'after' image of a model's eye.


The complainant, who believed the lashes in the 'after' image had been enhanced using pre- or post-production techniques, challenged whether the ad misleadingly exaggerated the likely effects of the product.


L'Oréal (UK) Ltd explained that in the 'before' image, the model was not wearing any mascara but in the 'after' image, mascara had been added to the top lashes only. They had decided to keep the lower lashes free from mascara in both images in order to make the comparison between the 'before' and 'after' effects of the mascara on the top lashes clearer. That was why the lower lashes looked the same in both images. They provided a signed declaration from the make-up artist who had applied the mascara on the photoshoot.

L'Oréal confirmed that no post-production techniques had been used on the lashes in the 'after' image.

Clearcast explained that during their discussions with L'Oréal at script stage they had received a signed assurance from them that all of the demonstration visuals in the ad would be in line with the relevant CAP Guidance and that all of the demonstration sequences would be accurate. Clearcast had approved the ad on that basis.


Not upheld

The ASA noted that the signed declaration from the make-up artist on the photoshoot stated that she had applied the Total Temptation mascara to the upper lashes of the model in accordance with the product instructions and that no lash inserts had been used. It was also confirmed that nothing had been done during the shoot to augment or enhance the performance of the product.

We understood that the complainant had been concerned that the lower lashes in the 'before' and 'after' images were exactly the same and they believed that they would have moved if mascara had been applied to them. We noted L'Oréal's explanation that the lower lashes had been kept free from mascara in both images.

We also noted L'Oréal's assurance that no post-production techniques had been used to enhance the effect of the product in the 'after' image.

We considered that because L'Oréal had not used pre- or post-production techniques in relation to the 'after' image, the ad, and in particular the scene featuring the 'before' and 'after' images, did not misleadingly exaggerate the likely effects of the product.

We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules  3.1 3.1 The standards objectives, insofar as they relate to advertising, include:

a) that persons under the age of 18 are protected;

b) that material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder is not included in television and radio services;

c) that the proper degree of responsibility is exercised with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes;

d) that generally accepted standards are applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from inclusion in such services of offensive and harmful material;

e) that the inclusion of advertising which may be misleading, harmful or offensive in television and radio services is prevented;

f) that the international obligations of the United Kingdom with respect to advertising included in television and radio services are complied with [in particular in respect of television those obligations set out in Articles 3b, 3e,10, 14, 15, 19, 20 and 22 of Directive 89/552/EEC (the Audi Visual Media Services Directive)];

g) that there is no use of techniques which exploit the possibility of conveying a message to viewers or listeners, or of otherwise influencing their minds, without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred"

Section 319(2).
 (Misleading advertising) and  3.12 3.12 Advertisements must not mislead by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product or service.  (Exaggeration), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.


3.1     3.12    

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