Gatekeeping in Advertisements

Natalie Portman, an Oscar winning actress, is the face for Dior’s newest mascara. This ad displays Portman with long lushes eyelashes, promising that if the consumer buys this product their eyelashes will too look like Portman’s. The picture is accompanied by a short description of what the mascara can do for you, “Lash-multiplying effect volume and care mascara. The miracle of a nano brush for an unrivaled lash creator effect. It delivers spectacular volume-multiplying effect, lash by lash.” Advertisements all over the world are known for exaggeration their products or using popular faces to gain their audience, so why is this ad being banned from the UK?

Makeup companies can be just as competitive as any other companies because they compete over the same audience. L’Oreal, one of Dior’s makeup competitors, complained that this ad was exaggerating the success that this mascara can produce. The Advertising Standards Authority in England then investigated the claims that L’Oreal was proclaiming. Dior, in attempt to defend itself, expressed that consumers had yet to complain about the results of the mascara. After reviewing Portman’s before and after pictures, the ASA found that the results of Dior’s mascara were not seen. The ad was significantly retouched and photos hoped, as many ads are. The campaign could no longer be shown. Natalie Portman is just one of the many examples of advertisement exaggeration and misleading consumers.

There is a larger problem here. The fact that ads are able to Photoshop and retouch to exaggerate their products is unacceptable. Their target audience is clearly affected by this. Women from ages 16-55 who are working and staying current in beauty products are compatible to buy their product, which means this can hurt the self-images of a large group of women. The ideal women shown in these advertisements do not exist in the real world. This kind of advertisements happens all over the world, not just in England. Not only the cosmetics ads, but clothing ads too use distorted images of women to show their version of “beauty”. Dior’s mascara ad is just one of many, and out of that number even less is investigated by the ASA. There needs to be a greater number of companies being investigated by the ASA, or more pressure put on these companies to show the truth.


Check out the offending advertisement here.