Proud2Bme | Should Retouched Ads Come with Labels?

Should Retouched Ads Come with Labels?

"Warning! This perfection is an illusion." What if advertisers were required to disclose the fact that all those images of flawless models are digital creations--a far cry from anything achievable in reality? New legislation is putting that possibility on the table.

The proposed Media and Public Health Act, a joint effort of the National Eating Disorders Association and Off Our Chests, asks for federal legislation requiring that “truth-in-advertising” labels be required on all ads and editorial content in which the human form has been materially altered through computer manipulation or other means (you can sign the petition to support the Media and Public Health Act here).

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “We must fight back against the constant portrayal of unrealistic ideals of physical perfection. We plan to add our muscle and advocacy efforts to help build momentum to require disclosure when images are altered. There is no cost to government, the ad agency or the consumer … just the cost to the health of our young people if we don’t force change. We know these falsified images have an impact on eating disorders, illnesses that have the highest death rate of any mental illness, and we can’t ignore it any longer.”

This battle over truth in advertising is now raging in the U.K too. Their Advertising Standards Authority just banned this L'Oreal ad for Revitalift with Rachel Weisz, saying the ad "misleadingly exaggerates" the product's anti-aging effects.

What do you think? Would truth in advertsing labels help? Should we be going after advertisers who make flase claims with poreless, "perfect" models who have been digitally altered?

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.