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Kate Moss Case Study

Kate Moss lashed for false ads
Rimmel adverts featuring the supermodel Kate Moss, which claimed a mascara
brush lifted eyelashes, broke advertising rules, the industry watchdog said on
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the company had failed to provide
evidence that confirmed Moss was not wearing false eyelashes in TV and magazine
adverts promoting its ‘magnif eyes mascara’ brush.
It also said Rimmel needed to include a disclaimer in future adverts making it clear
when post-production techniques had been used to increase the effects of a
It is the third time in three months that the ASA has chastised cosmetics companies
for their mascara adverts.
In July, L’Oreal was censured for its Telescopic mascara commercial featuring
actress Penelope Cruz that ‘exaggerated’ its effects and misled consumers by failing
to make it clear that Cruz was wearing some fake individual lashes.
Then last month, Avon received a lashing for its Bright Eye Duo mascara and eye
shadow advert that featured a model wearing false eyelashes without a disclaimer.
ASA director of communications Claire Forbes said its message was getting through
to cosmetics companies, but there would be a time delay because some adverts
may already have been placed.
Rimmel had submitted a report in which it said it had tested the claim of 70 per cent
more lash lift on 10 female panellists. It provided a table showing comparative
measurements taken using digital imagery that recorded the difference in eyelash
height before and after the product was applied.
They said the results showed the average recorded increase in lash lift from root to
tip was 75 per cent.
But ASA said: ‘Because the claim “70 per cent more lash” lift referred to an increase
in the appearance of the lash length, and not an actual increase, we concluded that
the ad could mislead’.
Advertising company J Walter Thompson (JWT) maintained that Moss was not
wearing false eyelashes on the shoot, but did not send documentary evidence, ASA
said. The watchdog was concerned that JWT said it had cleaned up and enhanced
the lashes in post-production without providing data that clarified to what extent.
‘Because we had not received documentary evidence that Kate Moss was not
wearing false lashes in the ads we concluded that the images of the eyelashes may
have exaggerated the benefits of the product, and were likely to mislead consumers’,
ASA said.
It said Rimmel’s TV ad breached rules relating to evidence and misleading
advertising, while the magazine ad breached rules relating to truthfulness and
Source: Reuters, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 October 2007
Identify the organisation responsible for regulating the advertising
industry against false and misleading claims.
Explain why Rimmel was found to be using false and misleading
Suggest other examples of advertising campaigns that would need to
be careful in the way they promote their products or services.