Over the years, demand for glitzy products and procedures designed to help us look younger, healthier and more beautiful, has created a multi-million pound industry. But this industry is competitive and it is one that plays heavily on aesthetic appeal to promote its products. While there’s nothing wrong with painting a positive picture, there is a line to be drawn to ensure that ads don’t over-exaggerate the benefits that a beauty, grooming or hygiene product can have. That’s why we have strict rules in place to protect consumers from potentially misleading or socially irresponsible ads for beauty products.
The main areas of complaint we see for ads for beauty, grooming and hygiene products are around the use of post-production techniques and whether advertisers can prove the claims they are making.
Like all ads, advertisers marketing beauty, grooming and hygiene products must be able to provide evidence for any claims they are making in their ads about the efficacy of their product. This includes claims like “65% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles”, “8/10 women agreed their skin looked smoother” and “The UK’s number one shampoo for coloured hair.”
Whilst our rules do allow for the use of airbrushing and other post-production techniques, advertisers should make clear that these techniques have been used through the use of superimposed qualifications or disclaimers, and they should not be used to such an extent that they exaggerate the capabilities of the product. Similarly, the use of “before” and “after” pictures are allowed but not if post-production techniques were only used on the “after” picture.