The ASA has called the Oscar winner's print ad for L'Oreal's anti-wrinkle cream Revitalift Repair 10 "misleading." The ASA, which also cracks down on things like dubious claims about iPhone web speeds, released this statement about the Weisz ad:
"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'."
L'Oreal's jaw-dropping defense: "We do not believe the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product."
ASA has previously banned similarly over-doctored images of 40-something stars Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington in other cosmetics ads. In the case of the Turlington ad for a Maybelline foundation called The Eraser, L'Oreal (which owns Maybelline) admitted that Turlington's image had been "digitally retouched to lighten the skin, clean up makeup, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows," but claimed there were still signs of aging, such as crow's feet, and that the image "accurately illustrated" what could be achieved with use of their product.