Magazines and advertisers take note. Legislators in Europe want digitally altered photos of celebrities and models to be labeled as such. In the US there is a similar movement, pushing for legislation called the Self Esteem Act. The ongoing concern is that digitally manipulated images contribute to eating disorders and poor body image among young women.
Technology is now emerging that would generate a rating as to how much a photo has been altered. It is proposed that this rating would be published alongside the photograph.
In the US, the Self-Esteem Act movement is gathering signatures on its website. They frame their proposition as truth in advertising. They are not advocating a ban on touch-ups just greater transparency for consumers.
The PR Verdict: “B” for the Self Esteem Act. This is a good PR strategy and arguing for transparency is more likely to succeed than a blanket ban on digital alterations.
To fast track this issue, have a panel of well-known beauties and celebrities publicly agree that a rating should be routinely applied to their own photos and publicity shots. Are you on board Madonna?
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