Rimmel's Cara Delevingne video ad banned in UK

Coty has fallen foul of the UK’s advertising watchdog with a high profile video ad for its Rimmel London brand found to have used tricks to make supermodel Cara Delevingne’s eyelashes longer than they would be if she had just used mascara.

An ad starring Cara Delevingne for Rimmel has been banned in the UK - Rimmel

The ad, for the brand’s Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara, claimed to offer “dangerously bold lashes” and extreme volume… extreme wear”.

But the company failed to disclose that Delevingne was wearing individual lash inserts and also that extra work had been done in post-production to enhance the look of her lashes.

There had been a flurry of complaints about artificial enhancements used in mascara advertising some years ago with the UK banning a Dior ad starring Natalie Portman back in 2010 as a result.

But while cosmetics companies have been more rigorous in their mascara advertising since then, an Advertising Standards Authority spokesman said its latest ruling sent a message to the industry as a whole that fake lashes or other artificial enhancements would not be tolerated in mascara ads.

While Coty said the ad was an accurate representation of the product and that Delevingne’s lashes looked “full and long” before the enhancements, the ASA was not convinced.

Despite the beauty giant saying it re-drew some lashes in post-production as the model’s dark eyeshadow reduced their visibility, and that it didn’t lengthen or thicken them, the ASA was clear that it disagreed. It said: “Because the ad conveyed a volumising, lengthening and thickening effect of the product we considered the use of lash inserts and the post-production technique were likely to exaggerate the effect beyond what could be achieved by the product among consumers. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”

Coty said it would comply with the ruling and would not be running the ad again in that form.

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