L’Oreal’s ‘Exaggerated’ Rachel Weisz Ad Banned by U.K. Watchdog

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority banned a L’Oreal SA advertisement for being misleading, the second time in six months the watchdog has cracked down on ads by the world’s largest cosmetics company.

The two-page print ad for L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Repair 10 face cream, featuring a digitally retouched image of actress Rachel Weisz, “misleadingly exaggerated” the product’s performance in relation to its claims, the ASA said today in a statement, adding that the ad cannot appear in its current form.

The ban follows a complaint by member of parliament Jo Swinson, a member of the Liberal Democrat party and co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, a lobbying group focused on depictions of women. The ASA last year prohibited L’Oreal ads featuring actress Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington for similar reasons after complaints by the MP.

“The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images,” Swinson said in a statement. “Images can be aspirational, without being faked.”

A L’Oreal spokesman said the company doesn’t believe the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using the product, adding that the claims are based on scientific research.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net.