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Embargo: Immediate, Wednesday 9 September 2009
Liberal Democrats launch campaign against airbrushing in advertising
The Liberal Democrats today launched an online campaign encouraging people to report adverts featuring heavily airbrushed images of women to advertising watchdogs.
The online campaign at http://www.realwomen.org.uk/takeaction <http://www.realwomen.org.uk/takeaction> is encouraging people to complain to the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice about adverts which portray unrealistic and unhealthy body images.
The campaign, which also seeks a ban on adverts aimed at under-16s using digital retouching to portray unrealistic body images, has received backing from a range of organizations, including The National Centre for Eating Disorders, Girlguiding UK and leading academics.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson, who chairs the party’s working group on women’s policy, said:
“Adverts that feature heavily retouched images of perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect figures mean that women and girls increasingly feel that nothing less than perfect will do.
“Advertisers should be honest and upfront about the extent of airbrushing that goes on. It is frankly dishonest to advertise an anti-wrinkle cream and then airbrush out all of the wrinkles in the ad. And it is simply irresponsible to take already underweight women and then slice off pieces of their thighs or hips in the computer suite.
“This campaign aims to make the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice use the power they have to insist adverts clearly indicate if they’ve been airbrushed.
“Consumers should have as much information as possible and children should have the space to develop their self-esteem without constantly being bombarded with a narrow range of manipulated images that promote conformity.”