A recent advert for Christian Dior mascara featuring actress Natalie Portman has been banned due to misleading claims over its cosmetic abilities. The mascara, which is advertised as being miraculous and unrivalled, was actually enhanced for the purpose of the advert.
The advert includes a number of shots of Portman supposedly capturing the natural wonders of the nano-technology, which supposedly enhances the length and curve of lashes. However, it is in fact the clever work of a computer mouse which gives the effect of such long lashes. The retouching work is deemed inappropriate as it misleads the consumer.
Initial complaints came from rival cosmetics group L’Oreal, who claimed that the advert over-exaggerated the effect on the lashes. Dior explained that the digital enhancement for the purpose of the advert was minimal, only serving to touch up errors, rather than enhance the eyelashes altogether. They mentioned that the retouching primarily separated rather than elongated the lashes.
Dior’s defence was that the advert was intentionally stylised, and pointed to the lack of consumer protest as a means of escape.
However, the Advertising Standards Agency took the side of the critique, arguing that the digital cover-up was inappropriate, and banned the advert in its entirety. The ASA investigated the situation by viewing before and after shots and concluded that the natural effect of the mascara was too different from the final product, and was therefore misleading.
Portman is a regular feature in Dior advertisements, and the ban is by no means a slant on her name. The exposition does however serve to highlight the flowered advertising of cosmetics, and though Dior has this time been punished, it is not out of the question to suggest that many companies utilise digital alterations in a similar fashion.
The advert cannot be used in its current form and has been removed from use with immediate effect.