Wait a minute, this mascara won't turn me into Natalie Portman? I'm shocked! Horrified. I want my money back...
Seems silly, but a Christian Dior mascara ad has been banned in the U.K. because Natalie Portman's exquisite, thick, Bambi eyelashes were just too long.
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The ad, which is for Diorshow "New Look" mascara, "must not appear again in its current form" according to a ruling posted on October 24th by the Advertising Standards Authority, the U.K.'s independent regulatory body for truth in advertising. The ASA found that the ad employed post-production techniques to enhance Portman's lashes in a way that could mislead consumers about the efficacy of the mascara. The complaint was brought against Dior not by outraged consumers, but by competitor L'Oreal.
"Post-production techniques are not prohibited by advertising rules," ASA spokesperson Matthew Wilson told Yahoo! Shine. "Most people understand and appreciate that every ad we see is likely to be touched up." The ASA gets involved only when the retouching could be misleading.
The Portman ad, Dior countered "did not go beyond the likely consumer expectations of what was achievable with the product," according to a response posted on the ASA website.
Dior disclosed that the Portman pics were originally intended for use in a lipstick ad, but were later repurposed. In the photos, Dior said, Natalie Portman is wearing mascara and eyeliner, but not individual false lashes or a set of false lashes. Portman's natural lashes were retouched digitally in post-production using Photoshop CS5.1, "nearly exclusively in relation to her upper lashes" and primarily "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." The company said that "a minimal amount of retouching took place in relation to increasing the thickness and volume of a number of her natural lashes."
Still, the ASA found that the ads went too far. Claims that the product was "lash-multiplying effect volume and care mascara," had "... an unrivalled lash creator effect" and "delivers spectacular volume-multiplying effect, lash by lash", in conjunction with the image of Natalie Portman's eyelashes, "would be understood to mean that the mascara could lengthen the lashes, as well as separate them, increase their thickness and volume, and generally enhance lash appearance."
On the one hand, most consumers over the age of 11 have probably discovered by now that beauty products aren't going to look the same in real life as they do in the ads. On the other, it's commendable that businesses in the U.K. are trying to adhere to a more realistic standard. The ASA is an independent, self-regulating body set up by advertisers that, spokesperson Wilson said, is taking part in "a broader debate about the negative effects of post-production techniques on body image."
Would it be so bad if makeup ads reflected what people-even inhumanly beautiful people like Portman-actually look like, or should they be the stuff of dreams? Tell us in the comments.