Olay announces it will stop airbrushing skin in advertisements

Olay, a Procter & Gamble skin care brand, has officially announced it will stop retouching skin in advertising campaigns by 2021.

The news came on Wednesday during an event in New York. Actor Busy Phillips will be the face of the kick-off campaign called “My Olay,” which will feature un-airbrushed photos of Phillips, model Denise Bidot and Lilly Singh, per CNBC.

Furthermore, the commitment will be extended to Olay’s influencer partners, individuals who use social media to advertise products to their followers.

All of their advertisements — including paid influencer ones — will feature the “Skin Promise” mark, a guarantee that the skin in the ad hasn’t been retouched, their statement reads.

READ MORE: CVS Pharmacy will stop airbrushing its beauty images in advertisements

The brand’s senior communication leader Kate DiCarlo said the company tested out the no-retouching policy in its Super Bowl ad recently, CNBC reports.

“We tested ourselves with the Super Bowl shoot. Our Super Bowl shoot was also unretouched,” she said during the panel.

She also touched on the role that social media plays in creating a “culture of perfection.”

“We are willing to walk away from influencers that are not interested in producing content that meets these standards.”

In a statement, Phillips, 40, says: “I am beyond proud to be a part of the Olay Skin Promise. As a mother of two girls, I understand the importance of being an authentic role model in every sense of the word.”

“Olay stands for championing women and I love seeing them use their huge platform to inspire women everywhere to live life authentically and unapologetically.”

A month prior to the announcement, Phillips appeared in an Olay advertisement for a new skincare product.

Olay, as well as many other brands, have been criticized in the past for over-airbrushing their advertisements.

READ MORE: Toronto MPP wants disclaimers on airbrushed, altered images in advertising

In 2009, an Olay ad featuring Twiggy was banned. Over 700 complaints, according to The Guardian, were collected for a campaign against airbrushing in ads by the then-Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson.

The ad featured the words: “Because younger-looking eyes never go out of fashion.”

The publication reported that the Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints that the ad was misleading since it was very retouched.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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