Dove introduces a mark indicating its ad images are free of digital manipulation

Latest in the Self-Esteem Project promises static ad photos to be free of distortion by January 2, 2019

Published On
Jun 26, 2018

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Today, Unilever's Dove moves its "Real Beauty" goals further with the introduction of a branding mark indicating its advertising is free of digital manipulation. The "No Digital Distortion" label will appear on Dove's deodorant campaigns starting this July, and by January 2, 2019, it will feature on all of Dove's static imagery across print, digital and social, the brand says.

Last year, the brand had promised to use only images free of any digital retouching when it announced its "Real Beauty Pledge." According to Dove Global Vice President Sophie Galvani, with the mark, the brand aims "to go one step further ... to help women understand what is real and what isn't. The mark will help women identify reality and we hope relieve some of the pressure to look a certain way."

Dove's label is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, CVS debuted its "CVS Beauty Mark" asserting that its own ads were free of airbrushing, part of the brand's "Beauty in Real Life" campaign.

Dove's move responds to research from the brand's 2016 Global Beauty and Confidence report, which found that 77 percent of women around the world believe that all media images are digitally altered. It also found that 69 percent of women felt anxiety from advertising and media to live up to unrealistic standards of beauty.

The mark is the latest in Dove's Self-Esteem Project, in which the brand has committed to deliver body confidence and self-esteem eductation to 40 million young people globally by 2020. It follows a long string of "Real Beauty" and confidence initiatives from the brand, which has delivered a string of celebrated female empowerment campaigns from "Evolution" to "Real Beauty Sketches."

Given other marketers' efforts to take "Real Beauty"-like stances in their messaging, we see this idea--branded or not--potentially having legs not just with Dove, but universally, across other brands and products. "We are hoping more brands join us in this, as this commitment needs to be widespread," Galvani says.

According to Galvani, Dove is one of Unilever's sustainable brands, which as a whole grow 46% faster than the rest of the company's business.

Coincidentally, Adobe recently announced its latest A.I. research into determining whether images have been PhotoShopped or digitally manipulated, as part of its exploration of the possibilities of new technologies "to increase trust and authenticity in digital media." Perhaps a brand tie-up in the future?


Jun 26, 2018
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