France Cracks Down on Makeup Advertising

Marketers are fond of saying they favor authenticity in advertising, but starting next week, France’s ad industry won’t have any choice in the matter.

A new law that starts Oct. 1 states any photos used in a commercial context must be labeled “Photographie retouche” if a model’s body shape has been digitally altered. The penalty is a fine of 30 percent of an ad’s budget, or a minimum of $45,000 should the budget be smaller.

The reaction in France is a typical Gallic shrug. For now, anyway. Melanie Pennec, an art director at DDB Paris, says, “It’s not such big news. My work won’t change. People want insight and authenticity, not fantasy. When I do use photoshop these days it’s to make something look more real or dirty or whatever.”

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