CVS Announces They Will No Longer Photoshop Their Advertisements

CVS Pharmacies has announced that they will no longer allow makeup companies to advertise their products with digitally altered images. This means no more impossibly airbrushed skin or cringe-worthy Photoshop fails in their aisles—and it’s about time! They’re giving makeup brands until 2020 to shape up and update their advertising with authentic pictures. Until then, they’ve introduced the CVS Beauty Mark. It’s a small symbol that will appear next to all advertisements that have been altered to inform customers that the pictures are fake. Their goal is to get all makeup brands to make the switch and promote their products using unedited photography, regardless of retailer.

Courtesy: CVS

They’ve started by asking major makeup companies, like Revlon, CoverGirl, L’Oreal and more, to stop editing ads and “to work together to ensure that a beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve,” says CVS President and Executive Vice President Helena Foulkes in a recent statement on the retailer’s official website. The official release also states that partners have proudly expressed a “willingness” to change and address the way they’ve been selling their products. CVS has almost 10,000 stores in the U.S and contributes to a huge portion of these brands’ sales. By using their position to demand change, we might be seeing a drastic shift in how beauty standards are portrayed in advertising this year.

Courtesy: CBS News

From celebrities stepping out to denounce edited magazine covers, to France passing a law that makes doing so without labeling illegal, we saw major progress in 2017. Seeing manipulated images (like the one above) is so upsetting because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the original—it features a gorgeous woman and showcases the benefits and effects of the makeup products. By digitally editing her face, it creates a literal unachievable standard that consumers can’t relate to.

It’s a known fact that unrealistic beauty standards are damaging, and it seems retailers and advertisers are finally starting to get the picture. Most men and women have experienced walking through a drugstore aisle and feeling bombarded by the over-produced, inauthentic ads on display. CVS hopes that their push toward truthful advertising will inspire other companies to do the same in 2018 and create a healthier environment for all of their shoppers.

But CVS isn’t the only retailer trying to make a difference by using better advertising. American Eagle’s Aerie brand has been massively successful with its famous #Aeriereal campaign. They don’t use any editing in any of their promotional imagery and share real pictures of their customers wearing the stylish clothing and lingerie on social media to encourage the body positivity movement. Last year, Target released swimsuit spreads with unedited models, proudly sporting completely natural things like stretch marks and scars. Lane Bryant and Dove are two other well-known brands that have been championed for their authentic, inclusive advertising.

We’re living in one of the most accepting, body-positive eras in recent times, and it’s great to see so many major companies like CVS recognizing the importance of healthy, honest advertising.