Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cheryl Cole's Fake Mojo for L'Oreal

British personality Cheryl Cole displays abundant healthy-looking locks in an ad for L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore Five products, designed to target "weak, limp, lifeless, dull and straw-like hair." But if you happen to blink, you just might miss the disclaimer that Cole is "styled with some natural hair extensions."

Despite the presence of fake strands, Cole says her hair "feels stronger, full of life, replenished, with a healthy shine. It's got its mojo back".

Some 40 astute consumers questioned the supposed mojo by complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). They claimed that the ads were misleading since the X Factor judge clearly did not achieve her look using L'Oreal products alone.

L'Oreal said the ads made no promise that consumers would look "exactly like Cheryl Cole." They added that Cole had not been "transformed above and beyond [her] public image for the purposes of the ad."

Unbelievably, the ASA bought L'Oreal's argument concluding "that the ads did not misleadingly exaggerate the effects of the product."

Their reasoning: "We considered consumers would understand the message of the ads to be that the product could have some positive and achievable effect on their weak, dull, limp and lifeless hair but that they would not be misled into believing that, by just using the product, it would replicate for them the fullness of Cheryl Cole's hair, because hers had been professionally styled," the ASA ruled.

If hair extensions posing as a model's own hair in a hair care ad isn't misleading, I don't know what is. Companies promising to make your hair thicker and fuller shouldn't need to add fake hair to the model to convince consumers that the product works.