UK bans "misleading" Rachel Weisz L'Oreal advert

LONDON Wed Feb 1, 2012 7:20am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - A magazine advertisement for a L'Oreal anti-wrinkle product featuring Hollywood star Rachel Weisz has been banned by Britain's industry watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority for "misleadingly" exaggerating its performance.

The ASA had been asked to rule on a two-page magazine advertisement which appeared in September, 2011, after parliamentarian Jo Swinson said it "misrepresented the results that the product could achieve."

Swinson is co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence and has successfully complained to the ASA before about images that were digitally enhanced.

The image promoting L'Oreal's Revitalift Repair 10 product features a close-up, black-and-white image of Weisz's face.

In its ruling published Wednesday, the ASA said the advertisement must not appear again in its current form.

"We told L'Oreal Paris to ensure that they did not use post-production techniques in a way that misrepresented what was achievable using the advertised product.

"Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of Rachel Weisz's face, we considered that the image had been altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.

"We therefore concluded that the image in the ad ... misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product in relation to the claims 'SKIN LOOKS SMOOTHER' and 'COMPLEXION

LOOKS MORE EVEN'."

But in another ruling published on its website, the ASA rejected complaints about a separate L'Oreal commercial for a moisturizer featuring a photograph of actress Jane Fonda.

The ASA decided the image had not been "significantly modified."

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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