50% of UK Women Distrust Brands That Use Airbrushing

Creative Model retouching

According to a new report from the Advertising Associaltion (AA) and research unit Credos, brands which use airbrushed photographs in their marketing campaigns might put off female consumers.

The report, called Pretty as a Picture, points out that over three quarters of the women would rather see unaltered images in ads, while more than four in five claim that airbrushing in marketing is not acceptable. In addition, almost half of the polled have lost their trust in brands which rely on doctored images of women to sell their products.

Recently, advertisements have been carefully observed for heavy airbrushing and potential sexual content and a number of brands have seen their ads banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for these reasons. UK equalities minister Lynne Featherstone and MP Jo Swinson proposed earlier that all altered images carry a mark which clearly shows the image is not natural. The government is going to introduce in 2012 a voluntary programme for brands to boost girls’ and young women’s body confidence.

The author of the report, Karen Fraser, commented that female consumers have firmly expressed their desire to see natural images used in marketing and their preferences should be taken into consideration by brands, which would otherwise risk losing part of their consumer base.