Kate Moss Mascara Ads Banned in U.K.

Posted on October 8, 2007

The ads for Rimmel Magnif'eyes Mascara ads featuring Kate Moss have been banned in England for being misleading. The ads claim that Magnif'eyes mascara produced 70% more lift, with a "unique vertical life brush".

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Center in Britain was not amused and said:

"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 eye lashes in the press and TV ads may have exaggerated the benefits of the product, and were likely to mislead consumers.

We told Rimmel not to repeat the ad in its present form. We advised them to include a disclaimer in future ads where post production techniques had been used to increase the effects of a product, or where false lashes had been used."

An image of one of the banned ads can be seen on FMD.

It's clear from the ad that Kate is wearing false eyelashes -- as happens in every print and television ad for mascara that we've ever seen. Are women really fooled by these ads? Or are the exaggerated claims considered "mere puffery" under the law? If the claims are considered mere puffery (under U.S., not British law), it means that no person in her right mind would think that you could get eyelashes an inch long from mascara alone. We know what we're seeing when we look at mascara ads, but there certainly is an argument that younger consumers might be fooled into parting with their money because of a fraudulent mascara-lengthening claim.

Hey, in Rimmel's defense, at least they didn't find lead in the mascara or anything. This much analysis is making our head hurt: we're heading to Starbucks. With our non-digitally-enhanced eyelashes.

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