Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To Edit or Not to Edit: Ralph Lauren

I posted last week about Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty where they show the lengths that some images in advertising have been altered. Yesterday, I noticed this print ad from Ralph Lauren over at This unnaturally skinny model is a very obvious example of photoshopping gone awry, but there was some controversy over whether the image was legit or whether it was altered after release. Well, the facts are in. This advertisment was released in this version in Japan. Ralph Lauren reacted to the controversy by sending DCMA notices to Boing Boing and Photoshop Disasters where the images were originally posted. It all went down hill for Ralph Lauren after that. Boing Boing openly mocked the company much to the glee of its readership. This could have been the end of it... but oh no...
Breaking headlines this morning: The model, Filippa Hamilton, who was featured in this advertisment has been FIRED! Why? Filippa told the Daily News, "They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore." Umm... Mr. Lauren... It's the public on line one, they're a little outraged at you calling a 5'10 120lb model fat. The official word from Ralph Lauren is she was unable to meet her contractual obligations. Filippa will be ok though, as a result of the controversy she made it on the Today show and was offered an eight page spread in Cosmo.

Ralph Lauren is not the first company to get itself into trouble over a little photoshopping (ok, a lot of photoshopping) and it won't be the last. ABC ran a story about it last week, with highlights of some of the top Photo-Editing Flubs.
So, as a tip to all Creative Directors, Ad Agencies, and all Marketing Personnel... think twice before you edit that photograph!

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