An advert for Rimmel London has been banned for “playing on young girls’ insecurities about their appearance” by implying it is necessary to wear make-up to school to succeed.
The Facebook ad, seen on September 9, read: “Get ready to slay this back-to-school season. Get 25% off Multi-Tasker Concealer and other Rimmel faves…”
The post included a video of 25-year-old influencer Lana Jenkins applying make-up, with further text underneath reading: “25% off Rimmel back to school.”
Two people complained that the ad was irresponsible for including the text “Get ready to slay this back-to-school season”, which played on young girls’ insecurities by implying they were only ready for a new school year if they wore make-up.
Coty UK, trading as Rimmel London, said the ad was part of its “Back to School” campaign but “in no way” communicated a need to wear make-up, and instead targeted women aged 18 to 35 who were interested in cosmetics, beauty, fashion and make-up.
It said the wording “Get ready to slay this back-to-school season” was intended to motivate and build confidence, rather than prey on young girls’ insecurities.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the words “back-to-school season”, in conjunction with the ad’s vibrant pink colour scheme, books and star emojis and the fluffy pink pen held by Jenkins in the video, would primarily be understood by viewers as referring to the time of the year when students returned to senior school or sixth form college after the summer break, and would appeal to them.
The ASA said: “We considered that the use of the word ‘slay’ in the claim ‘Get ready to slay this back-to-school season’ implied that girls or young women were more likely to succeed or do well when they went back to school if they wore make-up, in this case a concealing and contouring product.
“We considered the ad had the effect of playing on young girls’ insecurities about their appearance and therefore concluded it was irresponsible.”
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again, adding: “We told Coty UK, trading as Rimmel London, that they should not play on young girls’ insecurities by implying that it was necessary to wear make-up to school to succeed.”
Coty UK has been approached for comment.
Published: by Radio NewsHub