Maybe it’s decades of false advertising that have dumbed us down, or maybe it’s decades of corporate pressure on politicians to allow advertisers very, very free speech. But the UK is officially better than America at weeding out false advertising, especially the kind that claims to make us look like airbrushed celebrities. Case in point: A recent ban on so-called Mila Kunis’ cellulite cream.
The cream in question is Rodial’s “Body Sculpture” lotion, which the company claims will help you “get Mila Kunis’ Esquire look.” Their ad (which was sent via email to customers) featured a picture of the actress from Esquire (which named her ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’), wearing black lingerie that revealed her butt and thighs. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) put the kibosh on the ad, because it was clearly total bullshit. In their words:
The ASA considered that most consumers would understand from the claim “checkout and streamline your bum, thighs and tummy with this A-list must have!” implied that consumers who used the product would be able to reduce the appearance of cellulite and tighten and smooth their bottom, thighs and tummy. [...] Because robust evidence was not presented to demonstrate the implied efficacy claims for the product or that Mila Kunis had achieved the look featured in the photo as a result of using the product, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
It doesn’t take an eagle eye to spot false claims like this, but it does take a legal system that prioritizes consumers’ rights over business priorities.
Sadly, the media is still so full of body-shaming, misogynistic messaging that many women are probably still googling Mila Kunis cellulite cream as we speak; we’re so desperate to look like models and celebrities, we’re willing to throw money at stuff that even government organizations know won’t work. But at least the UK is trying to make advertising a little more honest and sane.
Here, it takes years of court dates just to get POM to stop making false claims about their juice.