It only took one complaint. Dior’s new Natalie Portman-fronted ad campaign for its Diorshow New Look lash-multiplying mascara has been banned in the UK, after the country’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint from rival beauty brand L’Oreal UK. According to reports, L’Oreal UK contested Dior’s exaggerated portrayal of their product’s effects by—no surprise here—digitally enhancing Portman’s lashes.
Expectedly, Dior washed their hands clean of this accusation. Well, sort of. While they didn’t deny the fact that Photoshop was used, the company did say that the extent of photo manipulation did not go anywhere beyond consumer expectations. In the ASA report, it was revealed that the photo was actually intended to be used in a lipstick ad, but realized later that it would work better as a mascara ad.
As such, Dior perhaps felt the need to digitally enhance it as they considered that many women wear false eyelashes on a regular basis these days. Dior defended the ad, saying that “the digital retouching was nearly exclusively in relation to her upper lashes and was primarily used to separate/increase the length and curve of a number of her lashes and to replace/fill a number of missing or damaged lashes, for a more stylised, uniform and tidy effect.”
We’re no experts, but that sounds like some serious digital magic to us. While things like these happen all the time, this case is particularly unique since it’s usually the consumers who do the complaining. Clearly, L’Oreal is not one to turn a blind eye on false advertisements when it involves a stiff competitor.
We’re positive Dior is not too happy about this ruling—grounded on exaggeration, misleading advertising and substantiation. On that note, we can only hope L’Oreal UK keeps their digital enhancements in line for Dior will probably be extra vigilant in monitoring their beauty ads too.