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Tracking The Backlash Against Photoshopping

  • Adweek, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 3:49 PM

In an age when "everybody" is photoshopping images -- from advertisers to magazine editors to women posting head shots on Facebook  -- why is the practice now attracting regulatory oversight, both in the U.S. and such countries as Israel and the U.K.? "Multiple factors include escalating product claims, increasingly manipulated media images, more scrutiny among watchdog groups and mounting political backlash," writes Jessica Seigel.

Seigel analyzes the trend with insights from, among others, a "master retoucher" (“Every single company is retouching, even if they say they’re not") and NAD director Andrea Levine, who calls a mascara ad announcing digitally enhanced lashes "garden-variety misleading. When you tell me in the ad you’ve tinkered with the demonstration, then I feel compelled to do something.”

We love the story about the U.K. independent watchdog group that banned an ad NOT because of "performance claims—it was simply that Julia Roberts doesn’t look that young,” according to Levine.



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