Arizona Considers Anti-Photoshop Law

An Arizona legislator has introduced a bill to make it illegal to run print ads in the state that have been Photoshopped, unless viewers are notified that the image has been altered.

The bill’s sponsor, state representative Katie Hobbs of Phoenix, told the Arizona Republic that she introduced the bill at the urging of the Maricopa County YWCA. The YWCA pushed for the bill out of its concern over the influence of media images on young women. The bill is reportedly modeled after similar laws in Britain.

Arizona House Bill 2739 specifies that “an advertiser shall not use postproduction techniques to alter or enhance printed media advertisements” that are displayed in the state, unless they carry a disclaimer.

The disclaimer proposed by the bill would have to say: “Postproduction techniques were made to alter the appearance in this advertisement.  When using this product, similar results may not be achieved.” Under the current language of the bill, the disclaimer would have to be “clearly and legibly stated in the advertisement.”

The bill, which is one of the first of its kind in the country, has little chance of passing. And Hobbs is on the defensive, because some of her constituents have suggested she focus on more important issues.

In a letter published by the Arizona Republic, she defended the bill by explaining:

“Girls see an average of 400 images a day of what it means to be beautiful in our culture. Many of these images are unattainable because they are not real.

“Depression among women and girls has doubled in the past 10 years, and 65 percent of American women and girls have an eating disorder.

“There are links between these serious health issues and advertising’s attempts to sell women and girls the myth that they can and should achieve physical perfection to have value in our culture.

I know my bill won’t solve this problem, but I’m glad that it helped start the discussion.”

29 Responses to “Arizona Considers Anti-Photoshop Law”

  1. George Lessard Says:

    Of course… if a digital photo is altered… (other than processing similar to the work done in a darkroom for film), it is then a photo-illustration and no longer a photograph.

  2. Arizona Considers Anti-Photoshop Law « The MediaMentor's Wordpress Blog Says:

    […] won’t solve this problem, but I’m glad that it helped start the discussion.” …”Via Rate this: Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterStumbleUponRedditLinkedInTumblrPrintDiggEmailLike […]

  3. Brad Trent Says:

    Jesus H Christ…all advertising has been retouched in some form or other since the very first ad agency crawled outta the muck on Madison Avenue. Does this too-tightly wound up state representative really think the fine people of Arizona who put her in the State House did so in order for her to waste time and money on a cause as ridiculous as this?!!

  4. King Royale Says:

    I think its a brilliant idea. This media is used not only to collect money but also the mind and emotion. Is it too much to ask; if you are asking for my money through you’re visual imagery that you tell me it’s not real. Sometimes the little things that some may feel is not worth time to look at are the things that needs to have a stronger look. – King Royale –

  5. dbltapp Says:

    Where do these wackos get their statistics…?

  6. Brad Trent Says:

    @King Royale…’re a funny dude! Thanx for the laugh!!!

  7. Mark Says:

    ridiculous. Images have been retouched since the cave paintings. A photograph is already a representation. It is not reality. Anyone that doesn’t understand this dimension has no business legislating let alone commenting on it.

    What next do we need to say that the models are wearing make-up. Implants and a weave. Come on people get real!

  8. Sam Says:

    Next up, flattering clothing and makeup will be outlawed. We will call this the Cultural Revolution.

  9. AJ Says:

    Unbelievable, there are so many important issues at hand, and she want to focus on this?? What about those models getting all types of implants, surgeries, makeup, is that real? Should the models start wearing t shirts which has a disclaimer (these arent real, the nose isnt real, i look bad without makeup.

    “Everybody knows, all images are retouched”, thats all people need to know.

  10. Robert Says:

    Perhaps the good representative would instead favor a law requiring parents to teach their kids self-esteem.

  11. mike a Says:

    now, if there was a law that said politicians couldn’t lie we would be in business. But wait they would break that rule just like the photoshop law would be broke a millions times a day

  12. John Says:

    I bet most of the 65% with eating disorders are obesity… maybe we need more photoshopping so young people and their parents feel more pressure to eat well and exercise.

  13. ThreatenedTechnicians Says:

    Are the above responses from Photoshop technicians afraid of losing work…? Too bad.

  14. John Says:

    Does Katie Hobbs ware make-up?

  15. Andy Says:

    I wonder if she’ll let her election and official photos be retouched?

  16. David O. Says:

    I can’t wait for her reelection posters!

  17. Carlos Says:

    These kinds of body image distortion do not happen to children growing up in nudist colonies, so the easy way to solve this is to just make nudity legal.

  18. Adam Sternberg Says:

    Here is her website. How much do you guys want to bet that the headshot on the top of her website had Photoshop work done on it?

  19. Fred LePiere Says:

    I was so influenced by the text of this ineffectual drivel, I was compelled to address the matter directly with the maker: Representative Katie Hobbs. I just emailed her this:

    Dear Katie

    I just reviewed the text of your bill, 2793. I am a professional photographer, who regularly uses Photoshop. I must tell you that he language of this bill rests not on informed knowledge, but on preconceived, partial and completely erroneous suppositions.

    You must first understand that EVERY image in EVERY magazine goes through Photoshop, not just images of women. Landscapes, images on men, product images, even scanned images of documents are run through digital image processing software prior to production. THEY HAVE TO BE! Some of the forms of image manipulation in what you call “post production techniques” include changing an original image from raw format to jpegs or tiffs, white balancing to get the color correct, color correcting to assure that the inks used in the printed image will closely match the original object, sharpening, resizing, cropping, bringing up the definition in the blacks, while holding down the values in the whites to assure that the image will work in the printing process, removing the noise from the original raw image and more.

    Your law will effect EVERY printed image by Every publisher in the state, including newspapers. How will it play for images in magazine not printed, but imported and enjoyed by the general population, like Elle, Time, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics and others?

    I would suspect that in order to be in compliance with your silly and un-thought-out law, that Arizona publishers will print the required notice in small print at the bottom of the contents page that will cover all images in that publication. Ok, they added a sentence to the print load. NO ONE WILL READ IT! If it passes, you will have accomplished nothing except that you will have placed another meaningless burden on business.

    While I agree that young women in our society find it impossible to live up to the published and promoted beauty standards, your law will not take the first step to correct the issue. Moreover, it falls under the argument of too much government. It is a social issue and one that government has no business diddling with.

    Please take a few hours to visit a local magazine printer and get him or her to walk you through the image making process. Then go tear up your bill.


    Fred LePiere

  20. Sheldon Simpson Says:

    Surely elected officials have bigger and more pressing issues to deal with. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt foe an elected official to get their name in the press. They know this is a hot topic and that it will get picked both nationally and internationally.

    Any person with half a brain knows full well that virtually every advertising image has been modified. What’s next, we have to says what exactly was done. Maybe it’s time we put some onus on parents to explain this to their teenagers. We should be able to assume that our elected officials won’t politic on the public purse and I can’t see that this is anything more than what it appears to be.

  21. Gary Stewart Says:

    When her party affiliation was not stated, I assumed she is a Democrat. I was right.

  22. Stewart Ransom Says:

    Her party affiliation has nothing to do with this. Her gender does. And we all know that repubs have never written a bad bill, LOL

  23. Terry Thomas Photos / Atlanta Says:

    Wait until the Realtors get wind of this. Even though they may pay for well-crafted professional photographs, the images still need to be corrected for color, contrast, saturation and density. The sky may need to be replaced and patches of the grass filled in. Then there is the needed technical corrections for lens distortion and perspective.

    Either the Realtor lobby will get the bill modified to exclude them or they will fight against this proposed bill.

  24. Arizona Debates Anti-Photoshop Law · NEWS on the Dreamspace Says:

    […] [via PDNPulse] […]

  25. JB Says:

    Why stop with print ads. What about movies? TV shows? “Warning, that vampire on TV is wearing fake teeth. “

  26. Michael Schwartz Says:

    Our government representatives must spend there time on more important issues than this. With an ongoing economic crisis and unrest in many places in the world, photoshopping images is a non-issue unless it used to create a fraudulent matter.

  27. Nicole Says:

    “Everybody knows, all images are retouched”,

    No, not everybody knows that. Girls especially DON’T know that which can be dangerous. Maybe this form of media literacy doesn’t need government intervention, but it definitely requires discussion, which seemed to be her goal.

    In NJ a bill passed by (Republican) Gov. Christie helps schools with anti-bully education. Maybe media literacy should be added to help girls learn not to value media bullies either.

  28. Maximo De La Rosa Says:

    No disclaimer is necessary at all, it is not important to add a disclaimer to a magazine to state that some images have been retouched. Also every image that is in a magazine has been retouched, not only for appearances but for other things as well.

  29. KJ Says:

    It’s easy to forget that not many people know what exactly photoshop does/can do and how necessary it is for our image saturated culture. If any and all adjustments and retouches were banned…I’m sure that state rep would be furious about her headshot.