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March 20th, 2012

Israel Bans Use of Underweight Models

Israel has passed a law that bans the use of “underweight” models in advertising, and mandates that ads that are retouched to make models appear thinner must include a disclaimer.

According to reports, a fashion photographer and model agent named Adi Barkan has helped promote the bill, which was introduced by Knesset member Rachel Adato.

“I look (back) 15 to 20 years ago, we shot models (sized) 38. Today it’s 24,” Barkan said. “This is the difference between thin and too thin. This is the difference between death and life.”

The law requires that models appearing at photo shoots for ads that will appear in the Israeli market must show a medical report stating that they are not malnourished by World Health Organization standards. The standard used by the WHO is “body mass index,” or BMI.

Under the new law, models must present a bill of health that is no more than three months old. Foreign publications sold in Israel will not be required to abide by the new law.

Opposition figures, including Adi Neumman, one of Israel’s top models, argue that the use of BMI is arbitrary and doesn’t allow for different body types. Neumman said she wouldn’t pass the requirement even though she eats well, exercises and is healthy.

“Force actual tests. Make girls go to a doctor. Get a system to follow girls who are found to be puking,” she said, according to an AP report.

March 1st, 2012

PDN Video Pick: Jonathan Chapman on Mountain Biking

Can a photographer promote video work by showing still images? In PDN‘s feature story about Jonathan Chapman’s direct mail promos, “All the New Work that’s Fit to Print,” the Minneapolis-based photographer and director explains that his new large-format newsprint mailer shows multiple images from assignments and personal projects, whether he shot them as stills or video. For example, he shows stills of bikers, created as part of a video assignment for Specialized, the bike manufacturer. His “Jonathan Chapman Photography/Motion” logo appears on the sun-kissed images, while the URL points readers to find his motion reel on his Web site. His videos like this one for Specialized can also be found on Vimeo.

February 24th, 2012

Penelope Tree, Muse to Avedon, Models Again

© Mario Sorrenti for Barney's

Penelope Tree, who first modeled for Richard Avedon in 1966, is back, appearing in a new fashion campaign for Barney’s shot by Mario Sorrenti. This week’s installment of Who’s Shooting What has details on the campaign, the creative director behind it, and the other fashion personalities being featured. PDN Pulse would just add that at age 62, Tree looks great.

Vogue editor Diana Vreeland spotted Tree at Truman Capote’s famous Black and White ball in 1966, and asked her to model for Richard Avedon and later for David Bailey, who soon after ditched wife Catherine Deneuve and became Tree’s companion for eight years.

(Wow, there were a lot of Sixties icons packed into that sentence.)

Tree’s look ushered in a new, waifish look in models. Bailey told PDN in a Legends Online interview, “I think she changed a generation of young American girls.” Funny, now we look at photos of Tree from the Sixties or today, and she looks quite healthy compared to the anorexic models we’re now used to seeing. Tree has other assets besides her unusual looks. A student of Buddhism, she has been a patron of a charity which supports women’s groups in Cambodia. She was also, as Bailey told PDN, “Bright, bright, bright, bright.”

Related article:

Who’s Shooting What

February 23rd, 2012

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.”

February 16th, 2012

More Ads Banned in Britain! This Time, Due to Sexism

© Ryannair

What would we do without our busy friends at the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)?  Every few months, this regulatory body bans an ad it deems unacceptable. In the past year, ASA has banned fashion and cosmetics ads for being overly Photoshopped and misleading, for fostering anorexia, and for encouraging young girls to sit on railroad tracks. Each ban generates lots of chatter across the Web, and provides PDN Pulse some handy blog fodder.

The latest campaign to get the ax from ASA is a grotesquely tacky campaign for discount Ryannair that shows female flight attendants in lingerie, in poses worthy of the old Snap-on Tool calendars. And thanks to ASA, the ads are now getting loads of free publicity.

ASA calls the ads “sexist” and “demeaning.” Salon.com notes that the ads are old fashioned. We agree. We’d also note that the campaign features Photoshopping so ham-handed, it hurts our eyes. Maybe the retoucher was hoping the ASA would take notice?

Ryannair, the low-fare airline that has made weekends in Corfu, Palma, Dusseldorf and Ibiza affordable for drunken bachelors all over Europe, has responded to the ban by calling the ASA a “bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits.”

Oh c’mon, Ryannair. Don’t you want to thank those dimwits for the free media they handed you?

Related articles

“Irresponsible” Miu Miu Ads Shot By Bruce Weber Banned in Britain
Ad Banned in UK for Super Skinny Model
Photoshopped Ads Banned in Britain!

February 16th, 2012

Photog Sues Quincy Jones for Infringement, Says He Was “Strong-Armed”

Photographer Michael D. Jones alleges that after he refused to sign away his copyrights to this 1995 image for $6,500, Quincy Jones and AKG used it anyway without permission.

Los Angeles photographer Michael D. Jones has filed a lawsuit against Quincy Jones, claiming that the legendary music producer provided one of the photographer’s portraits without permission for use in ads, packaging and other materials to promote a line of audio headphones. The photographer, who does not claim any relation to Quincy Jones, is seeking statutory damages and an injunction for willful copyright infringement.

Operating under the name Mike Jones Photography, the photographer has also named the headphone manufacturer, AKG Harman, the music book publisher Hal Leonard Corporation, and Quincy Jones Productions as defendants.

Mike Jones alleges that he photographed Quincy Jones and other celebrated musicians at several recording sessions in 1995 at Qwest Records in West Hollywood. Besides Quincy Jones, others in attendance included Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock And Ronald Isley.

Mike Jones says he photographed the sessions at the invitation of Qwest’s president, JoAnn Tominaga, and ended up shooting about 100 rolls of film. He alleges that he was never asked to sign a contract or release stating that his photographs from those sessions were works made for hire. He also says that there were no restrictions on what he could photograph. (more…)

January 31st, 2012

In Bankruptcy, Photo Archive Cuts Deal with Marilyn Monroe Estate

Sinking under legal bills, the Shaw Family Archives [SFA] has tentatively agreed to a 5-year, $3 million licensing deal with its arch-enemy–the estate of Marilyn Monroe–to pull itself out of bankruptcy. The deal would give the Monroe estate control over commercial licensing of hundreds of Monroe images shot by the late photographer Sam Shaw, and finally end protracted litigation between the two companies.

Under the terms of the proposal, the SFA would grant the Estate of Marilyn Monroe LLC “the sole and exclusive right and license” to exploit photographer Sam Shaw’s many images of Marilyn Monroe for commercial uses. The SFA would continue to license the Monroe photographs–including Shaw’s iconic “blowing skirt image of Monroe–for editorial, fine art and exhibition purposes.

Because the SFA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last summer, the agreement with the Monroe estate is subject to approval by a federal bankruptcy judge. A ruling is expected later this month.

In court papers seeking that approval, the SFA says, “the Agreement is critical to the [SFA's] effective reorganization as it ensures the longevity of the [SFA]  as a business by providing the [SFA] with tangible benefits, including: a minimum income that is more than the [SFA] has made in the last three (3) years…and ending most, if not all, of the litigation” between SFA and Monroe’s estate.

Melissa Stevens, operations manager for SFA, characterizes the deal as “a business arrangement that both parties feel will be mutually beneficial to the continued preservation and promotion of both Marilyn Monroe and Sam Shaw’s legacy.” (more…)

January 25th, 2012

Who’s Shooting What: Nigel Parry, Peter Lindbergh Shoot New Campaigns

PDN advertising photography-Who's Shooting What

©Peter Rad--From an anniversary campaign for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featured in PDN's Who's Shooting What column.

In the latest installment of PDN’s Who’s Shooting What column, we feature Nigel Parry’s work for the MSNBC “Lean Forward” print campaign,  Peter Lindbergh’s work with actress Gwyneth Paltrow for the Coach spring/summer 2012 campaign, a nude by Emily Shur for an advocacy campaign, plus a lot of other assignment work by photographers from all over the country (not just LA and New York). We also name the ad agencies and creatives behind the assignments for Bally, AOL, VW, Frito-Lay, Cocoa Metro and other clients.

Another special feature of the latest Who’s Shooting What column is our first-ever WSW Quiz, where readers can test their skill at separating advertising fact from fiction.

If you would like to see your advertising work featured in future installments of Who’s Shooting What, follow the submission instructions here for consideration. Please note that WSW is primarily for advertising assignment work. Editorial work is rarely included.

Now, for the fine print: you have to be a PDN subscriber to access the WSW column, which is behind our pay wall. Subscription information is available here.

January 18th, 2012

4 Useful Lessons from La Redoute’s Nude Man Fiasco

Was the photographer blind, inattentive, or just following the, ah, brief?

Somewhere, a photographer has been scolded–or worse–for a catalogue image that embarrassed his or her client.

The image in question, for La Redoute, a French clothing company, shows happy kids frolicking on the beach in bathing suits–with a naked man emerging from the water in the background. The company removed the image from its Web site and apologized publicly after some shocked customers complained.

A BBC report about that apology notes that the error was “compounded by the fact that La Redoute provided a magnifying glass so that people could examine the beachwear close-up.”

This piece of news made the viral rounds a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps you’ve already heard about it. But we wanted to point out the silver lining: There are lessons to be learned from the unfortunate mistakes of others. In this case, they include:

–When location scouting for a kids’ catalogue shoot, avoid nude beaches.
–If someone on set says, “There’s a nude guy in the background, but we can fix that in post,” don’t just say, “Yeah, yeah” and forget about it.
–Have someone review your images for nude guys (and other glitches you’ve tuned out) before you send them to the client.

The magnifying glass raises pesky questions, though. Was the nude man really an error, we wonder? Or was he planted intentionally in a perverse kind of “Find Elmo” game–that came complete with a magnifying glass–in order to generate publicity for the company?

So that brings us to Lesson #4: If a client asks you to plant a nude guy in a catalogue image, go ahead and oblige them. Just ask them to leave your name out of it, so when they send their public apology to the BBC, it doesn’t look like you screwed up.

January 4th, 2012

Jim Marshall’s Estate Sues Fashion Designer for Copyright Infringement

The estate of rock ‘n roll photographer Jim Marshall has sued fashion designer John Varvatos for using photos of celebrity musicians without permission in store displays.

According to the lawsuit, Varvatos infringed Marshall’s copyright by reproducing prints of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, BB King, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and several other rock stars without permission. Varvatos allegedly displayed those reproductions in his own stores, as well as in Bloomingdale’s stores in California and elsewhere.

Bloomindale’s is also named as a defendant in the case, which was filed in federal court in San Francisco on December 29. (more…)