L'Oreal's Cruz eyelashes exposed as falsies

LONDON - No one is ever going to have real eyelashes like Penelope Cruz does in her L'Oreal ads. The 'Volver' actress was found to have been wearing false lashes in the TV campaign for its Telescopic Mascara after the advertising watchdog upheld a complaint against it.

The Advertising Standards Authority received a single complaint about L'Oreal's mascara ad, created by McCann Erickson, because of its claim that the product could make lashes up to 60% longer. The complainant believed that the actress was wearing false eyelashes and that the ad was misleading.

L'Oreal defended the claim, saying that it was supported by scientific and consumer data. The beauty giant came clean and admitted that Cruz, who also starred in 'Vanilla Sky' and 'Sahara', was not filmed quite as nature intended and was in fact wearing a few individual false lashes.

However, L'Oreal argued that many women wear false lashes themselves and that its 60% longer lashes claim could be achieved with or without the false lashes. It simply chose not to take a chance.

The advertising watchdog upheld the complaint and ordered L'Oreal to include a disclaimer in future ads stating that they featured models wearing false eyelashes. It also told the beauty group to ensure that future ads made clear that the "up to 60%" claim referred to the appearance of the lashes, not to an actual extension in the length of lashes that could be achieved by using the mascara.

It is not the first time that L'Oreal has run foul of the ASA. It has previously had a complaint upheld about an anti-wrinkle cream ad, featuring model Claudia Schiffer, which claimed to "counteract skin micro contractions" and "rapidly reduce wrinkles". The ASA said that L'Oreal had insufficient evidence to support these claims.

It was a bad week for beauty as Beiersdorf UK was ordered not to broadcast its DNAge Nivea Visage ad, created by TBWA\London, after the ASA upheld 11 complaints.

Viewers questioned the claims that the product increased cell renewal and could help protect your DNA from cell damage.

Beiersdorf UK provided several scientific studies in support of its claims but the ASA noted that all the trials were carried out on either the arm, upper arm or inner forearm which it understood was not a good model for facial skin, the area which DNAge cream would be applied.

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