CVS Is Going to Stop Airbrushing Beauty Ads

Unrealistic images are linked to negative health effects, company says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2018 12:10 AM CST
CVS Is Going to Stop Airbrushing in Beauty Ads
CVS is getting rid of significant touchup in advertising for its beauty products.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

CVS, which gave up tobacco in 2014, says it wants to get rid of another unhealthy thing in its stores by 2020: unrealistic images of women. The nation's largest drugstore chain says it is phasing out the use of airbrushed images of models in advertising for its beauty products and it will roll out a "Beauty Mark" to designate un-retouched images this spring, NBC reports. "The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established," says CVS Pharmacy chief Helena Foulkes. The company hopes to get its suppliers to follow suit by slapping a "digitally modified" label on airbrushed images.

CVS says slight changes may still be made to images, but the "material" alterations it plans to get rid of include changes to "a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles, or any other individual characteristics." "We felt it was important to be as transparent and authentic as possible with the women who come into our stores," Foulkes tells the New York Times. "We want to be clear about the issue and make beauty something that makes women feel good, as opposed to not good enough." The change, she says, is "a response to the bigger conversation women are having over their own level of empowerment in society." (Read more CVS stories.)

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