Last year, I took part in a telephone survey. I was sent a copy of “O” magazine (a rag I had never before read) and I was asked to read certain articles. As it turned out, the survey wasn’t about the articles, it was about Olay advertisements. I couldn’t remember having seen a single one even though I participated in the phone interview the same day as I read the magazine. When my attention was directed to specific adverts, I was highly critical of Olay’s use of trickery to get women to buy their crap. Not that it mattered.
I pointed out that they used teenage models to sell wrinkle cream to middle-aged women, models that still had to be photo shopped to make them plastic perfect.
“Send me some and I’ll use it for a month and we’ll take photos,” I said.
Of course I never heard from them.
Now the Twiggy-Olay advert is garnering some well deserved attention and complaints.
In the Olay advert, Twiggy doesn’t even look like Twiggy anymore, even the Twiggy from twenty years ago. They didn’t just get rid of her wrinkles, they whitened her teeth, pumped up the color saturation of her hair, got rid of the little pooch under her chin, the wrinkles on her neck and made her look like nobody in particular, but a young nobody.
During the interview I asked if Olay knew the definition of lying. (If the magic cream really is that good, why would they need Photo Shop?) Not that it mattered.
“Today the Advertising Standards Authority says in a ruling: ‘The post-production retouching of this ad, specifically in the eye area, could give consumers a misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve. However, it added that most older women would understand that Twiggy’s youthful appearance was not solely achieved by using the Olay product.”
That’s a pretty subtle way of saying Twiggy’s youthful appearance was achieved by trickery.…or that Olay lies.