Repeat offender L’Oreal should be banned from advertising – and Rachel Weisz should pack it in too

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned a McCann Erickson ad for L’Oreal’s Revitalift Repair anti-ageing cream as the picture of L’Oreal ‘brand ambassador’ and Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz was ‘digitally enhanced.’ Actually it’s had more retouching than the average collapsing Old Master painting (montage of the real Rachel and L’Oreal’s version from The Telegraph).

L’Oreal has been doing this for years – and getting away with it – because by the time the ad ban comes into effect the ad has run and, maybe, convinced a lot of daft women that they can look like Rachel Weisz (not that Ms Weisz looks very much like herself in this instance).

Just as the Football Association (occasionally) dishes out long bans for repeat offenders so, surely, should the ASA. No L’Oreal ads in the UK for a month might just have an impact on the over-mighty French cosmetics company and its cynical agency.

As for Weisz, a former model but a Cambridge graduate too, she should know better. A sometime spokesperson for ethical products, she must surely be aware that appearing in such ads is trashing her (considerable) reputation. As a top actress (and new wife of James Bond star Daniel Craig) she can hardly say she needs the money.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.


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    Hold on Steve but do you even know what the hell you are talking about? Rachel Weisz has no control what so ever over those pictures. All she is doing is promoting a brand, which the ASA did not dispute it’s effects, only the way it mislead in it’s advertised in the air brused photo. Rachel has no say on how those photo will be displayed to the public what so ever. If the company wants to photoshop, it’s their decision, not Weisz’s. To try to blame her for what l’Oreal did is down right stupid and if you truly did work in in marketing , you would have known that the person moldeling has not idea or say on what the company does with those pictures after it’s all said and done. It’s up to the photographer and the person running the campaing.

    Think very hard before you write such a self rightgeos, arrogantly dimwitted article that proves that you don’t have a clue on what you are talking about.

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    Sorry Stephen but Fran is right, I’m a professional photographer who does these types of photographs for brands that are advertise in magazines and our clients decite how the pictures should look, not the actor or professional model who are promoting it in their ads.They could be told one thing and the client will change their mind in the last minute to do something completely different the next. To try to blame Rachel Weisz for what L’Oreal did is very naive on your part Stephen.

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    Stephen, Stephen, Stephen – women know the models/actresses in ads don’t actually look like that; know they don’t really have inch long eye lashes and blemish free skin.
    It’s fantasy. All women know this, even the daft ones.

    the ASA has got better fish to fry than this.