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Dove and Dangin dispute 'real beauty' ad retouching claim

LONDON - Dove has denied that an ad in its 'Campaign for real beauty' was significantly retouched to make the women look better and is being backed by Pascal Dangin, the man who The New Yorker claimed made the alterations.

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The May 12 issue of the New Yorker contains a profile on Dangin, founder and head of Box Studios in New York, quoting him as saying that he retouched the photo of women in their underwear used in one of the campaign's earliest executions.

The article's author Lauren Collins wrote: "I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured lumpier-than-usual 'real women' in their undergarments.

"It turned out that it was a Dangin job. 'Do you know how much retouching was on that?' he asked. 'But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone's skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive'."

Dove has hit back saying that Ogilvy created and produced the "real women" ad referred to and that the agency hadn't employed Dangin on the campaign.

It said that Dangin worked with photographer Annie Leibovitz who shot the photography for the launch of the Dove ProAge campaign, a new campaign within the "Campaign for real beauty".

Dove said that it had an understanding with Leibovitz that the photos would not be retouched and that the only actions taken were the removal of dust from the film and minor colour correction.

Leibovitz confirmed in a statement for Dove: "Let's be perfectly clear -- Pascal does all kinds of work -- but he is primarily a printer -- and only does retouching when asked to. The idea for Dove was very clear from the beginning. There was to be no retouching and there was not."

Dangin said: "The recent article published by The New Yorker incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the Dove 'real women' ad.

"I only worked on the Dove ProAge campaign taken by Annie Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do colour correction -- both the integrity of the photographs and the women's natural beauty were maintained."

At the time of publication, the New Yorker online article was unchanged.

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