Phony Airbrushed Ads Should Have Warning Labels

julia roberts ad banned by ASA in UKSome Arizona politicians may be known for having some out there views, but Democrat Representative Katie Hobbs doesn't sound like she fits in with the rest of the pack. At least not when it comes to her latest proposed bill for the state, which would require airbrushed ads created in Arizona to come with a warning. Something like, "This photo has been altered by post-production techniques. Similar results may not be achieved."

While there's already coverage out there asserting that this is exactly the kind of overstepping government regulation that America doesn't need, it seems like something that certainly does more good than harm. Plus, they're already doing something similar in the U.K.!


Across the pond, Great Britain has the Advertising Standards Authority, which is an independent regulator of advertising, "ensuring ads are legal, decent, honest, and truthful by applying Advertising Codes." They've targeted ads that depict skin, hair, eyelashes, etc. that are just way too good to be true. For instance, the UK watchdog had L'Oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts pulled a few months back, because they said they were retouched to the extent that they were "likely to mislead consumers."

Rep. Hobbs is suggesting a disclaimer that would work in a similar way, because she says, "It is important to let people know, especially young people, that these pictures are not real." She also told local news that she feels having the disclaimer could help promote a more positive self-image among young women especially.

Sure, you could argue that we should simply know better, but on some level, we don't. Even if it's just deep in our subconscious, there is harm being done to our psyches by these airbrushed-beyond-belief advertisements. Maybe an alert like the one Hobbs is proposing would serve as a big RED LIGHT -- a splash of ice cold water, if you will -- to wake us up and remind us consciously (and subconsciously!) that these PhotoShopped-to-the-max images are lies ... or outright fibs, at least.

Sadly, Hobbs herself admits she doesn't really see her proposed bill going anywhere. But what she has done should still be considered a win. She deserves credit for at least attempting open Arizonians eyes to this troublesome issue. She's taken aim in a war media and advertising have waged on women, and consumers overall, for far too long.

Would you support a bill like this one?


Image via Splash News

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