cara delevingne rimmel ad
Photography via Rimmel London

This Cara Delevingne Rimmel Ad Got Banned in the U.K.

We hate to break it to you, but most mascaras won’t do for you what they do for the models’ lashes in their ads. That’s because the lashes are enhanced with inserts (read: falsies) or Photoshop to make them appear mile-high and voluminous (but let’s be serious, you probably already knew that).

Despite beauty brands disclosing (in very fine print) that inserts have been used, plenty of mascara ads have been banned or condemned by advertising watchdogs, such as the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority. The latest mascara ad ruled misleading by the notoriously strict organization? Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara, starring Cara Delevingne.

The TV ad campaign (which you can watch above) sees the model/actress applying the product to a (pretty full) set of lashes. Viewers are promised “dangerously bold lashes” with “extreme volume…extreme wear” when they use the mascara. However, as per the ASA (and a customer complaint), the ad exaggerates the effect the product is capable of achieving, as lash inserts and excessive airbrushing is used.

“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,” it said. “We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”

According to WWD, Rimmel’s parent company, Coty U.K., defended the banned ad, arguing it provided an accurate representation of the product and its characteristics. They even provided before and after photos of Delevingne’s lashes, along with post-production images, to the ASA, explaining lash inserts were only used to “fill in gaps and to create a uniform lash line.”

However, the ASA disagreed, stating, “While it was not clear whether this was due to the lash inserts or the redrawing of some lashes in post-production, or both, we considered that the overall effect was longer lashes with more volume.”

While Rimmel “regret[s]” the watchdog’s decision, they have agreed to comply with the ruling, and have agreed to stop airing the commercial again in its current form.

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