Taylor Swift’s CoverGirl Ads Have Been Banned

By now, you may be familiar with our ad-regulating friends in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority: they’ve had a banner year taking on those suggestive Marc Jacobs ads staring Dakota Fanning, then emaciated models in swimsuits and–most relevant to our present topic–they banned some L’Oreal ads starring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for being overly airbrushed.

Now, a new ad’s been banned… in America! Our own National Advertising Division (NAD, hilariously) have finally said, “Enough!” to absurdly misleading fashion/beauty campaign on this side of the pond. Their target? A set of CoverGirl spots starring spokesmodel Taylor Swift, which NAD says made ”superior performance claims” such as “2X more volume” and “20 percent lighter” that couldn’t be substantiated, largely because those phrases don’t mean anything out of context (2x more volume than what and how does one measure that with mascara?). NAD’s director told Business Insider: [tagbox tag="Taylor Swift"]

“You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then — in the mice type — have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’ “

Further, the ruling said:

“… [Proctor & Gamble, which owns CoverGirl] advised NAD it has permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement. NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes. This picture is accompanied by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production.”

Did you see how much sanity was in that statement? It is preposterous that a campaign can promise Youth! Beauty! Glamour! Flattering Sunset-y Lighting! Lashes That Could Crush Your Ex-Boyfriends! and then in tiny, almost imperceptible script, have the freedom to say, “Obviously not.” We’re for it.

Do you think ads that make ridiculous claims should be banned? …Or is it all just a natural part of advertising?

(Business Insider, HuffPo)

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    • Becca

      this is so stupid. If this is banned than every comercial and and clothes add in the world! All of them do false advertising! 90% of photos in magizines are photoshoped nowadays and all of the ‘as seen on T.V.’ things that don’t work worth crap. Stupid.

      • Elle

        Dang girl you must really like watching commercials to get so offended over this.

    • Andrea

      I have to admit that it is silly to start banning all of these ads.. but it has always bothered me that models (and actresses) are ALWAYS wearing pretty obvious false eyelashes in mascara ads.

    • Rebecca

      I am personally hopeful that we’ll see more of this kind of censorship. I did most of the research in my undergraduate degree on human beings and their visual environments so I’ve seen many times over how incredibly susceptible we are to advertising…even when we know it’s fake.

      Advertising can work very effectively without having to constantly lie. Women will still be swayed by a beautiful, non-airbrushed, woman telling them about a product that works for he. All the lying does is perpetuate a world where people consistently need what they physically can’t have.

    • emily

      i am unusually tickled by the phrase “mice type”.

      also, go NAD. ha.

    • Maggie

      Censorship always makes me uneasy, but as a journalist, I’ve been pretty tired of seeing our friends on the flip side of the industry get by without having to adhere to any standard of truth, so I’m hesitantly okay with this… for now. It’s a fine line, and it could blow up in our faces, but I’m also happy to see a crackdown against this type of advertising. I was getting a little jealous of the UK.

      Plus, I would just really like to know which mascara ACTUALLY works. Like could we do some non-retouched before and after pictures, Covergirl? Thx.

      • N

        I agree with this, as long as that line isn’t crossed, I’m for it. As far as mascara goes, I’m a maybelline girl myself. I don’t get T-Sweezy eyelashes, but they look pretty damn good :)

    • Lauren

      i am sooo mad that they banned taylor swift! its not her fault!

      • k

        Absolutely no said it was Taylor’s fault. Did you finish all your homework, dear?

    • Kdub

      The Maybelline Falsies Mascara ads and the L’Oreal ads with Gwen Sefani should also go. No way my lashes will look like that, no matter how much of that stuff I cake on.

    • Zooey

      awkward how even though if they actually enforced those rules literally EVERY makeup commercial would be banned, but especially awkward how they managed to crack down on the only company that actually does make a decent, light-weight mascara with superior performance. seriously though, the fact that none of those statements can be based on fact has nothing to do with the topic. since when do people buy their makeup based on actual facthood and the reliability of studies? people stick with the makeup that serves them well, and the fact that those ads were banned while victoria’s secret commercials filled with anorexic girls in their underwear being unnecessarily vague and confusing run rampant just shows that the people banning these ads have no idea what they’re talking about.