Advertising watch dogs in the United Kingdom have taken issue with magazine ads for L'Oréal-owned companies, Lancome and Maybelline, featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington.
The ads featuring the two have been pulled by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over complaints that their images have been overly photoshopped and are falsely advertising the benefits of L'Oréal beauty products, reports The U.K. newspaper The Guardian.
Jo Swinson, a parliament member of the Liberal Democrat party, lodged complaints with the ASA over the two advertisements and the ASA ruled that the ads were in breach of a standards code for "exaggeration and being misleading" the newspaper reports.
The Academy Award-winning actress, who is the face of Lancome, appeared in the ad for a foundation called Teint Miracle. The ad was shot by Mario Testino, who also shot Prince William and Kate's engagement photos.
Swinson said the images were "not representative of the results the product could achieve."
The newspaper reports that L'Oréal provided the ASA with photos of the celebrities on the red carpet to prove their natural looks but admitted to digitally altering both images of Turlington and Roberts. Roberts' image was altered digitally in post-production but the company said the changes were not "directly relevant" to the ad.
The ASA was not allowed to see the pre-production photos of Roberts from the photo shoot for the advertisement due to a contractual agreement from the actress.
"It shows just how ridiculous things have become when there is such fear over an un-airbrushed photo that even the advertising regulator isn't permitted to see it," Swinson told The Guardian.
"On the basis of the evidence we had received we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post-production techniques," the ASA said about the ban.
L'Oréal released a statement to The New York Times that said, "We do not believe that the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product. In consumer tests among over 100 women, 77 percent agreed that Teint Miracle made their complexions look radiant and luminous.