Misleading Cosmetic Advertisement In India

Advertisements are designed to attract consumers and often, they find that the promises and claims in the advertisements are not true. L'Oreal has recently been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for producing 'misleading' ads featuring Hollywood actress Penelope Cruz.

The print and TV advertisements claimed that their Telescopic mascara could create 60 per cent longer eyelashes "that could reach for the stars". But it was found that Cruz had actually used false eyelashes for the advertisements. L'Oreal has been ordered to add a disclaimer to future ads.

However, lashes are not the only fake things in advertisements. Advertisement
filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar reveals, "What you see in advertisements
is always doctored. The flawless models who endorse these products are not real, because their appearance is touched up. You have makeup, lights, airbrushing and all sorts of techniques, which give a picture-perfect end result."

Professional make-up artist Manzoor Khan, who works in films and advertisements, says, "The right make-up makes all the difference in an advertisement
for a beauty product. Sometimes, we have to do a little cheating here and there if the product being advertised doesn't give the desired look. We could use a product from another brand to get the best finish. Make-up and lighting go hand in hand to create the perfect look."

Dermatologist Dr Malavika Kohli stresses the need for consumer awareness. "We should make it a point to read the label for the active ingredients, their percentages, clinical studies and trials conducted for any cosmetic product. Based on this information, we can make our choices. We should all be informed consumers."

However, if a company deliberately misleads consumers with false advertisements, a complain can be lodged to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self regulatory voluntary organisation of the advertising industry.

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