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Britain bans L'Oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because they are too airbrushed and did not reflect reality
U.K's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the magazine ads, which featured digitally altered images of the women, were misleading and did not accurately represent what the makeup products could actually achieve, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
It investigated the ads after complaints were made by Jo Swinson, a Liberal Democratic MP and the co-founder of the lobby group, Campaign for Body Confidence.
L'Oreal owns both Maybelline and Lancome, which was advertising the two foundations under scrutiny.
"Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don't reflect reality," Ms Swinson said in a statement following the decisions.
"Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don't need retouching to look great.
"This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers - let's get back to reality."
The ads showed before and after shots of the women wearing makeup, including foundation, which the regulator found were not accurate.
L'Oreal told the regulator that, "despite the fact post-production techniques had been used, the image accurately illustrated the results the product could achieve" and had provided the ASA with images of Turlington at public events, SMH reports.
Lancome told the ASA that the images of Roberts, which were taken by fashion photographer Mario Testino, were an "aspirational" picture of what could be achieved when a customer used its product, The Guardian reports.
But the cosmetics company could not give the regulator images of Roberts before the make-up was used due to contractual obligations, which Ms Swinson described as "shocking", the Guardian reports.
"It shows just how ridiculous things have become when there is such fear over an unairbrushed photo that even the advertising regulator isn't permitted to see it," Swinson said.
"We do not believe that the ad exaggerates the effect that can be achieved using this product," Liz Clark, a spokeswoman for Lancome, said in an email, SMH reports.