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Regulators to Ban Photoshop in Ads?
By: Jessica Cherok
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Just in time for bathing suit season, the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 bill is seeking to curtail the use of Photoshop in advertisements aimed at women and girls.

The bill, H.R. 4341, won’t make using Photoshop illegal, per se, but it does seek to design a “strategy to reduce the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted.”

According to the bill’s sponsors, such photo editing is disseminating “unrealistic body standards among men and women of varying age groups,” and has a “particularly destructive health effect on children and teenagers.”

The impossible standards of beauty are receiving a lot of negative attention nowadays. A recent Target advertisement, which included a (poorly done) Photoshop of a thigh gap on a model for tween/teen swimwear, caused a big stir on social media sites. Target apologized for the ad and removed it from their website.

Unfortunately, the bill wouldn’t exactly stop this type of advertising, even if it passes. Because the bill’s focus is on public health, it will have no direct impact on editorial content.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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