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August 8th, 2011

Photoshopped Ads Banned in Britain!

©Mario Testino--Photoshop shocker: UK authorities consider this image of Julia Roberts misleading.

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered cosmetic maker L’Oréal to pull two heavily retouched ads–one of actress Julia Roberts and the other of model Christy Turlington–on the grounds that the ads are misleading, according to press reports.

Of an ad for L’Oréal’s Lancôme brand featuring Roberts, the ASA said, “we could not conclude that the ad image accurately illustrated what effect the product could achieve, and that the image had not been exaggerated by digital post production techniques.”

L’Oréal defended itself by describing the ad to the ASA as an “aspirational picture of what could be achieved by using the product.”

The ad featuring Turlington promoted a cosmetic foundation from L’Oréal’s Maybelline line. The ASA concluded that the ad “was likely to mislead” because some wrinkles in Turlington’s faced had been removed digitally after the product had been applied.

Both ads were challenged by Member of Parliament Jo Swinson, who has spearheaded a campaign to halt unrealistic advertising images of models for several years.

Truth-in-advertising laws also apply in the US under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Advertising “must be truthful and non-deceptive,” the FTC says, and advertisers “must have evidence to back up their claims.”

That raises a question: Should US regulators be more vigilant about the use of digital manipulation in beauty ads?

According to the FTC web site, the agency focuses its enforcement attention on ads that make claims about health and safety. “Ads that make subjective claims or claims that consumers can judge for themselves receive less attention from the FTC,” the agency explains. So it’s a question of scarce resource allocation. But it’s also a question of politics. So far, nobody in Congress has taken up arms against the depiction of impossibly young, thin and beautiful models in fashion and beauty ads.

June 2nd, 2011

Is Submitting Local/Regional Work to “Who’s Shooting What” a Waste of Time?

This was a question raised today by a photographer from Boston who wrote, “From what I see on Who’s Shooting What, one needs to submit a national campaign, be a famous photographer or the subject must be a celebrity.”

For the uninitiated, our Who’s Shooting What column is a bi-weekly round-up of photographers and creatives behind current ad campaigns (and very occasionally, editorial shoots). The column appears behind our pay wall, so it’s available to subscribers only, although anyone can submit work to be published.

The short answer to the Boston photographer’s question is No, it is not a waste of time to submit work to Who’s Shooting What. We publish most of what is submitted. (more…)

May 19th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: The North Face Manifesto

The North Face Brand Manifesto from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

The above video, created by Camp 4 Collective for The North Face under the creative direction of Factory Design Labs, was a video winner in this year’s PDN Photo Annual.

Camp 4 Collective create adventure and expedition-based films that follow athletes to some of the most beautiful and remote locales in the world. Another of their films, “As It Happens,” recounts a climb a pair of Camp 4 climbers/filmmakers made in Nepal, which they documented in real time, sending dispatches via a satellite modem powered by solar energy. “As It Happens” was recently a Vimeo editor’s pick.

May 9th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Dominique Palombo’s “Move,” Winner in PDN Photo Annual

Dominique Palombo’s video for designer Rachel Roy is a winner in the PDN Photo Annual, in the Video category introduced this year.  Palombo, a photographer and director, worked with dancers, choreographed by Jermaine Browne, to create the five-minute video. The idea, she says, was to use different styles of movement to showcase the designer’s Spring 2011 line.

April 27th, 2011

Mother Claims Defamation Over Daughter’s Image on Billboard

The mother of a six-year-old New Jersey girl whose image appeared in controversial anti-abortion ads has sued the advertisers in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan for unauthorized commercial use of the girl’s likeness. The lawsuit calls the ads “offensive, defamatory, and racist.”

Tricia Fraser is suing an anti-abortion group based in Texas called Life Always and its ad agency, Heroic Media, on behalf of her daughter, Anissa Fraser. The claim is over the use of stock photos of Anissa–shot when she was four–that appeared on billboards near the entrance of the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan, and in Jacksonville, Florida. The billboards included text that said, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” The billboards are intended to drive traffic to the defendants’ web sites, which solicit donations for their cause.

“While Life Always and Heroic Media certainly have the right to engage in such offensive speech, they do not have the right to exploit the likeness of an innocent child to do so,” Tricia Fraser says in her claim. She asserts that the campaign is “designed to shame African-American women from exercising their constitutional rights to reproductive freedom.”

Fraser and her daughter are African-American. The billboards in question provoked an angry reaction from some people, and drew widespread media coverage before they were finally taken down.

Fraser permitted her daughter to pose for stock photographs in 2009, and admits to signing a “take-it-or-leave-it” model release during the shoot. But Life Always and Heroic Media used her daughter’s likeness illegally, she maintains, because the model release she signed expressly excluded “defamatory use of any photos taken on the shoot.”

“Ms. Fraser was led to believe that the photo would be used by the photographer to publicize his own work. At no point was she told they might be used to illustrate a controversial message or as political propaganda,” the lawsuit says.

Life Always did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The images were allegedly distributed by Getty subsidiary Image Source, and were shot by a photographer identified in the lawsuit as C. Camarena. Neither the agencies nor the photographer are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

According to Fraser’s claim, Getty informs its licensees in writing that they may not use licensed images “in connection with a subject that would be unflattering or unduly controversial to a reasonable person” and that the agency’s license agreement “strictly prohibits” defamatory or otherwise unlawful uses.”

Fraser is seeking an injunction to stop the defendants from using the image in question, and unspecified monetary damages.

February 22nd, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Jim Krantz Goes The Way of The West

Photographer Jim Krantz spent four days in the Colorado mountains working with an extensive crew, a RED Camera, and the Canon EOS 5D on a job which also resulted in a piece for himself called “The Way of The West,” consisting of a mini booklet and accompanying DVD. “I was the project’s  live-action director and still photographer,” Krantz says. “That process allowed me to shoot photos, capture live-action footage and later, pull stills from the RED camera motion footage.”  To read more about what Krantz terms his “transmedia” promo, check out Right Stuff in PDN’s May print issue.

January 28th, 2011

PDN Video Picks: Bruce Davidson and Bob Dylan

Here is a trailer for the promotional video produced by Magnum Photos to promote Bob Dylan’s 2009 record, “Together Through Life.” When Dylan’s management contacted Magnum Photos about licensing an image from Bruce Davidson’s iconic “Brooklyn Gang” series for the cover of the CD, Magnum’s director of publishing, broadcast and film, Michael Shulman, pitched Dylan and his record label, Columbia Records, on the idea of producing a multimedia piece to promote the album. Producer Adrian Kelterborn, a member of Magnum’s in-house multimedia production team, Magnum In Motion, worked with Shulman and the label on the piece. It was shown on to draw attention to the album release.

This and other image licensing projects were featured in “(Re)Sales Opportunities,” in the January 2011 Money Issue of PDN. Subscribers can log in to PDNonline to read the story here.

December 29th, 2010

PDN Video Pick: Dwight Eschliman’s Lego Lamborghini

Still life photographer Dwight Eschliman produced two Lego stop-motion animations for WIRED Magazine’s iPad launch issue. Eschliman says Wired ended up using the first one, Lego iPad, and the Lego Lamborghini piece became a fun outtake. Eschliman says he used two cameras tethered to two capture machines overhead two side-by-side Lego sets (he used the Hasselblad H2 w/ PhaseOne P65+). He started with all of the pieces on one side and simply assembled the Lego Car one piece at a time. “Take picture on right, move piece to left, take picture on left. Repeat 801 times.”