In April, Dove Real Beauty campaign launched a saccharine video campaign that indicated that women have low self-confidence and downplay their own beauty. Strangers who described women they had just met to forensic sketch artists described "prettier" versions than the ones described by women talking about themselves. The video concludes: “You are more beautiful than you think.” But actually, it turns out, we have no idea what we really look like.
The Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" photo retouching controversy was left as an unresolved disagreement between truth-in-advertising purists and photo professionals who say retouching is a necessity. Television and movies may be moving in the opposite direction; a lighter touch with makeup is needed in the face of exacting HD cameras. But for print ads of all kinds, the wonders of Photoshop manipulation will prevail. James Danziger, the photo gallerist who represents celebrity image producer Annie Leibovitz, weighs in with a cogent postscript to the Dove controversy and its legacy: "We are living in both the digital age and the age of hypocrisy.":
The aftermath of last week's Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" photo retouching scandal remains unclear. It all started with retoucher Pascal Dangin telling the New Yorker that he had cleaned up photos for the campaign featuring ostensibly "Real" women, which would be a hugely hypocritical move. Dove, their ad agency, and celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz all denied it, saying they did nothing to the pictures except "to remove dust and do color correction." Today, Ad Age tries to decide whether or not the fiasco will hurt Dove—and the company is still stonewalling, while the New Yorker is standing by (most of) its story.
Beauty product purveyor Dove has finally responded to allegations, first reported in a New Yorker story, that the company retouched photos of the "Real" women in its "Campaign for Real Beauty" ads. Which would make them big hypocrites. But according to a statement from Dove this morning (via its PR agency, Edelman), the New Yorker was wrong. The company even got a quotable refutation from controversy-courting celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz! Their full denial is after the jump.
You know that Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty," which featured women slightly less skeletal than the average model, and therefore demonstrated that Dove is the greatest, most big-hearted company ever in the world? Well now there's a scandal about it! A new New Yorker story about Pascal Dangin, the world's "premier retoucher of fashion photographs," contains this tidbit on Dove's campaign, which ostensibly celebrates authentic, unadulterated womanhood:
The ad above is from Dove beauty products, or more properly, the (chuckle) "Dove Self-Esteem Fund," which is all about teaching girls real beauty, not this highly overproduced, airbrushed and Photoshopped version you see in other ads, such as those for Axe body spray (which shares a corporate parent with Dove). Nevertheless, it's typical though still startling transformation, especially when the almighty Photoshop lasso begins on-the-fly cosmetic surgery.
Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown appeared Britain's High Court yesterday on behalf of Random House U.K., which is being sued by two authors who claim Brown's book imitates the central theme of their older work, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. While defending the originality of his work, Brown revealed a little bit about himself: he never watched television as a child. His father used to devise codes and games for Brown to find his Christmas presents. Blythe Brown, his wife, does most of his research and is said to be "forceful."