They said/We said: Taylor Swift’s Cover Girl ad got banned, but it may not be for what you think

Taylor Swift for CoverGirl
Taylor Swift for CoverGirl
Photography by CoverGirl

Taylor Swift is known for her knockout red carpet beauty looks, but today her work for Cover Girl’s Nature Luxe Mousse Mascara is coming under fire for the not-so-natural lashes in the ad’s photo. The National Advertising Division in the U.S. has banned the ad for excessive photoshopping and noted the disclaimer at the bottom of the ad that states Swift’s lashes are “enhanced in post production.” The ban was also based on the ad’s superior performance claims, which claim the mascara will give your lashes “2x more volume” and is “20 per cent lighter” than other mascaras.

Unlike the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority, which has been on a banning spree this year, cracking down on both Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu for the inappropriate depiction of children in their ads, this is the first major ban by the NAD. The ban marks the beginning of the NAD’s supposed crackdown on excessive photoshopping. So is the NAD playing follow the leader? While there are other ads with far worse images out there, we understand the point about being mislead about a product, especially when you’re hoping for thick and luscious lashes like Swift’s.


Andrea Levine, National Advertising Division Director: “You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then—in the mice type—have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’” [Business Insider]

Huffington Post: “That sounds about right to us—who wants to be lied to? (Although generally we take any product that claims to transform us into Taylor Swift with a giant grain of salt.)” [Huffington Post]

The Gloss: “It is preposterous that a campaign can promise Youth! Beauty! Glamour! Flattering Sunset-y Lighting! Lashes That Could Crush Your Ex-Boyfriends! and then in tiny, almost imperceptible script, have the freedom to say, “Obviously not.” We’re for it.” [The Gloss]

Styleite: “In other words, if you thought Swift’s lashes looked too good to be true, you’re right.” [Styleite]


Lesa Hannah, beauty director: “Is it just me, or did people actually believe these ads anyway? I guess the ruling is to protect the less intelligent?”