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New Bill Targets Photoshopping in Fashion and Beauty Ads

Controversial Target thigh gap image via <a href="">Stylist</a>
Controversial Target thigh gap image via Stylist

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Should the Federal Trade Commission investigate Photoshopped ads? Members of the Eating Disorders Coalition lobbied yesterday on behalf of a bill introduced in Congress called the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014, which seeks to check unrealistic ads that could promote a disordered body image.

To support their cause, the group screened a behind-the-scenes Photoshop video in a briefing, handed out before and after images of ads from brands like Ralph Lauren and Lancôme, and brought in speakers to testify, including a former Photoshop professional who referred to himself as an "eye-con."

Under the proposed bill, the Federal Trade Commission wouldn't take direct action against advertisers. Instead, it would require the FTC to study advertisements — not editorial — where models' physical attributes had been altered, and work with stakeholder groups like the American Medical Association and Eating Disorders Coalition to propose possible regulation.

Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 co-sponsor Rep. Lois Capps noted that there is a historical precedent for government intervention in advertising. "Just as with cigarette ads in the past, fashion ads portray a twisted, ideal image for young women," she said. "And they're vulnerable. As sales go up, body image and confidence drops."
· Lobbyists Push Congress to Curb Misleading Photoshopped Ads [Time]