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CREATIVE STRATEGY: ASA vs L'Oréal - Beauty is truth, truth beauty

Do you have a daughter? I do. And I've always been thankful that she's not a conformist and that she has the confidence to go her own way.

L'Oréal: ad featuring retouched Chrsty Turlington image banned by the ASA

L'Oréal: ad featuring retouched Chrsty Turlington image banned by the ASA

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During her lifetime, we’ve seen the rise and rise of disturbing trends affecting the health of many young women: eating disorders; self-harming; cosmetic surgery; binge drinking, and more.

No doubt a psychologist or anthropologist could comment with much greater insight than I on what lies behind these ills. And how and whether any of them are interlinked.

What isn’t in doubt is that many of my daughter’s peers have a serious problem with their body image. Well, it could be argued that none of us are entirely happy with how we look.

Unless you are Mr Pitt or Ms Johansson, of course. But we’re not talking about my balding pate, but a downward spiral of negativity that gnaws away at the very wellspring of your self-worth.

Young women are constantly bombarded with images of beauty that are literally impossible for them to achieve.

Because, unless there’s been some technological breakthrough I missed, none of us can go to bathroom and pick up an airbrush that will give us blemish-free skin, diamond-bright eyes and maybe rock-hard abs into the bargain.

Well, at last someone has said: "Enough!".

In an ASA ruling this week L'Oréall’s massively retouched ads were banned.

To help promote its "anti-ageing" foundation, the firm told the ASA it decided to "lighten the skin, clean up make-up, reduce dark shadows and shading around the eyes, smooth the lips and darken the eyebrows" of model Christy Turlington.

Just a bit of work, then? L'Oréal still has the gall to claim that the fake image was a true reflection of the product’s efficacy. Well, they are French.

The ASA ruling may be a small victory. But I hope that it is the start of a positive trend, for the sake of the next generation.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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