Monday, July 4, 2011

Linda Chung appeared in Billboard All Over HK (complaints)

One arm raised, the back of her red skirt billowing to reveal a pair of long, slender legs, singer-actress Linda Chung Ka-yan is on billboards all over Hong Kong these days, promising a flat tummy, firm arms or a life without cellulite.

She is a vision of perfection as she advertises Slim Beauty, a spa and slimming centre. All is not as it seems, however. Before going on display, her image was doctored with that favourite tool of image-enhancers, Photoshop.

And it is not alone among the spas and beauty salons that abound in image-conscious Hong Kong where such alterations are widely tolerated despite being frowned on elsewhere, drawing censure and sometimes hefty fines.

A spokesman for rival Oasis Beauty said of its advertisements with model Sarah C: "We enhanced her skin tone a bit." Such a touch-up can be done easily on a computer, as shown in the pictures here.

In Britain, that admission might have got the salon into trouble.

An advertisement featuring former model Twiggy for Procter & Gamble's Olay Definity Eye Illuminator cream was judged misleading by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority in December 2009 after the company did post-production work around her eyes.

Two years earlier, the authority condemned L'Oreal for an advertisement featuring the Spanish actress Penelope Cruz that claimed women could have up to 60 per cent longer eyelashes with its Telescopic mascara. But someone complained it looked fake, and fake it was. The authority ordered the French brand to add a disclaimer on future advertisements whenever models were wearing false lashes

In Sweden last year, L'Oreal was ordered to pay a fine of 1 million Swedish kroner (HK$1.24 million) for its claims for two anti-ageing creams, one of which was said to reduce wrinkles "as fast as a laser" and reduce their visibility by up to 70 per cent.

Despite the widespread use of such strategies in Hong Kong, its residents are becoming more sceptical.

A "Hong Kong Study on Advertising Credibility", published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing in 2009 said: "Doubts about the truthfulness of many advertisements have increased significantly in recent years."

Professor Gerard Prendergast, a co-author of the study and head of Baptist University's marketing department, said the four most misleading types of advertisement were those for weight-loss products, weight-loss services, hair regrowth products and cosmetics.

The Consumer Council recorded 469 complaints in 2008 and 514 in 2009 about beauty parlours' dubious practices. Commenting on the use of Photoshop, a council spokeswoman said: "I suppose what is at issue here is authenticity. If everybody used Photoshop, you'd have to have proof and evidence on how they applied it, as it can be used in enhancing the colours or making the picture sharper, not necessarily altering the shape or features of the model."

Professor Francis Chow Chun-chung, president of the Hong Kong Association for the Study of Obesity, said such advertisements were not aimed at medically obese people.

Linda looks gorgeous don't you agree??? She looks perfect!!!!


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