Rimmel mascara advert starring Cara Delevinge banned over use of false eyelashes

Katie Morley
A Rimmel mascara ad featuring the model Cara Delevingne which has been banned for using production techniques that exaggerated the effect of the make-up - PA

Cosmetics firms have been warned to stop using false eyelashes and airbrushing techniques to exaggerate the effects of make up as advertising watchdogs have banned a major commercial starring Cara Delevingne.

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a Rimmel mascara advert can no longer be shown as it portrays an unrealistic picture of the "volumising" and "lengthening" impact of the eye make-up.

It is the first major advert to be banned over use of false lashes since 2010 when a Dior advert starring Natalie Portman was ordered to be removed from being shown. 

A spokesman at the ASA said the ruling sends a message to other cosmetics firms that they must make it clear if they are using fake eyelashes, or other methods, which artificially enhance the perceived effect of products.

The TV advert for Rimmel's Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara shows model Cara Delevingne running through the streets of London being chased by 'undercover agents'.

Screen grab from handout video issued by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) of a Rimmel mascara ad featuring the model Cara Delevingne which has been banned for using production techniques that exaggerated the effect of the make-up Credit: PA

Various shots of the model show her with full mascara on before wiping the make-up off in a bid to avoid detection from the 'agents', before saying 'Unstoppable...Get the London look'.

A voice-over states: "Rimmel introduces Cara Delevingne for new Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara. "Dangerously bold lashes.

New max-density brush for clump free lashes. Extreme volume ... Extreme wear." One person complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) saying they believed the ad misleadingly exaggerated the likely effects of the mascara.

Bosses at Coty UK, which makes the mascara, said the ad provided an 'accurate representation of the product and its characteristics' and said that the Cara had naturally 'full and long lashes'.

It admitted, however, that lash inserts were used to 'fill in the gaps' and create a 'uniform lash line' and that post-production techniques were used to 're-draw' some of the model's lashes where they were 'not visible due to the model's dark eyeshadow'.

Rimmel's Scandal Eyes mascara  Credit: Rimmel 

It said, however, that her lashes had 'not been lengthened or thickened'. Bosses at the ASA banned the ad saying it breached misleading advertising rules and exaggerated the effects of the mascara.

It stated: "The ASA considered that consumers were likely to understand from the product name Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara along with the voice-over description 'New max-density brush for clump free lashes. Extreme volume', particularly in conjunction with the visuals, to mean that after application, eyelashes would appear thicker and fuller.

"We therefore considered that consumers would expect to experience similar results to those shown in the ad. "We noted Coty's assertion that in post-production some lashes were re-drawn to make them more visible and that it was industry practice to use individual lash inserts to fill in gaps to create a uniform lash line.

"Because the ad conveyed a volumising, lengthening and thickening effect of the product we considered the use of lash inserts and the post-production technique were likely to exaggerate the effect beyond what could be achieved by the product among consumers. "We therefore concluded the ad was misleading."

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