August 20, 2010

This ad pisses me off.

It’s no secret that I read magazines in the bathroom. Hell, I do most of my reading in the bathroom. I am just one of those bathroom reader type of people.

We get this magazine, because we subscribe to The Movie Network cable package, called Movie Entertainment and in that magazine are fluffy articles about movie stars and the listings of what movies are going to be shown when and on what channels. It also has a lot of ads.

So in that magazine was this ad and because I love Drew Barrymore and in this ad she looks particularly beautiful, I think, I paid more attention to it than I normally would to most magazine ads. And that’s the entire point of using a spokesperson like Drew Barrymore.

But what really made me take notice of this ad was her eyelashes. The ad is obviously for mascara and when I noticed this ad on Monday, I was thinking “there’s no way a mascara can make your eyelashes do that” and I started reading the copy, looking for fine print. The copy reads:

“lashes that want it all, can have it all!

NEW lashblastfusion a dramatic blast of volume and length/

COVERGIRL has gone all out with its first ever volume + length mascara. The fiberstretch formula and oversized brush make every little lash bigger, fuller, longer-looking and more dramatic.* Blast your lashes to bold levels of length and volume with new LashBlast Fusion. easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL

Take beautiful back online or from your mobile @ covergirl.ca”

“Ah ha!” I thought. There was the asterisk that’s going to tel me that their product doesn’t really do what the picture implies it does! So I look at the black mouseprint at the bottom where the asterisk was and it read:

*vs. bare lashes. Drew Barrymore is wearing LashBlast Fusion in Very Black.

What? That’s all they had to disclaim? This mascara realy does make your eyelashes do what they’re doing to Drew’s in that picture? THAT’S AMAZING! I’m going to run out this weekend and get me some of that mascara since my current one is almost finished! I mean, if a mascara can actually do that, then I’m SOLD!

So that was Monday.  And I left the magazine folded backward to that ad all week because I wanted to remember what that mascara was called so when I was out this weekend, I could pick some up. But still, something didn’t seem quite right. I just didn’t quite believe that a simple mascara, which is really just liquid, could make one’s lashes that full and long.

On Tuesday I read the ad again, wondering how they could make the claims they were making when I didn’t believe their product could do that.  But there it was in black and white, they were saying that this was basically the best mascara on Earth and that Drew was wearing it in the photo. And I read the fine print at the bottom of the page again and it still said the same thing. Surely if there was tomfoolery like digital manipulation, Covergirl would have to disclaim that fact, but there was nothing in the ad that said that so their claims had to be true. And even though it seemed too good to be true, I had to believe it because no company wants to get sued for false advertising, right?

On Wednesday I scoured the ad again. Started at it and read the copy 3 times over. I looked at the picture. I started thinking like, “okay maybe her eyelashes look fuller because she obviously has smoky eyeliner on her top lid and in the corner of her bottom lid too” and again, I read the copy, looking for another asterisk that would tell me that the photo in this ad had been manipulated in some way. But it simply wasn’t there, so again, the claims had to be true, right?

Well on Thursday, yesterday, I was examining the ad again and that’s when I finally saw it. At the very bottom of Drew’s very Caucasian skin is very white mouseprint that I missed even though I’d examined the ad for 3 days straight and was actively LOOKING for fine print.

(Click to enlarge)

The teeny tiny WHITE on basically WHITE mouseprint says:

“Lash inserts were applied to add lash count to Drew’s lashes before applying LashBlast Fusion mascara.”

Yep. I knew it had to be too good to be true and even though they cover their asses by including that almost invisible disclaimer, this is pretty much false advertising and Covergirl AND Drew Barrymore, who at the photo shoot should have said, “hey, isn’t this a little dishonest?”, should be ashamed of themselves.

This ad does not tell me what your product does. It tells me, after 3 days of searching for it, what your makeup artists can do and that’s dishonest. I’m not a makeup artist and neither are most of the women buying this product,. Women who, I can guarantee, AREN’T like me and looking for fine print and are buying this product based on the picture in the ad WHICH IS A LIE.

ADVERTISERS: SHOW ME WHAT YOUR FUCKING PRODUCT DOES AND DON’T LIE TO ME.

Your product can’t be too great if you have to LIE about what it does.

So fuck Covergirl. I will never buy another Covergirl product as long as I live and my opinion of Drew Barrymore has gone down by quite a bit because she went along with this lie and smiled for the camera. There’s no integrity there.

Obviously ads lie all the time. The reason I was looking for fine print is because there’s always fine print. But I think this ad was extra deceptive with putting white text on white skin in a print so small I had to put my glasses on to read it. Again, I was actively looking for fine print for 3 days and didn’t see it until the 4th day OH AND BY THE WAY, I went to college for advertising. I know how it all works. Because of that, I’m not as easily fooled as most people and this is also a very good example of why I decided not to get into that industry.There’s way too much sleaze and deception.

Anyway, the ad just pissed me off and even though my voice isn’t very big and this post isn’t going to make a bit of difference, I just couldn’t sit there and not say anything about it.

Posted at 1:56 pm in: Advertising

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