How are these anti-ageing ad campaigns NOT false advertising?

Taryn Brumfitt



I’m just so annoyed and I just can’t seem to shake it, but before you tell me to suck it up…  just hear me out.

The definition of false advertising is a misrepresentation of the characteristics or qualities of goods or services.And yet the beauty industry is getting away with false advertising every single day?

Last week I was flicking through a magazine and I came across a photograph of an actress in her early 50s. She was promoting an eye-cream to defy age. I thought to myself, how is it NOT false advertising for this actress to attribute her “flawless” skin to the wonders of the age-defying cream, when in reality the flawless and apparently ageless skin in the photo was the result of photo-shopping?

Not even the most disciplined 50-year-old raw foodie who practices meditation seven days a week,and soaks in a Himalayan rock salt bath for 4.5 hours a day could look as young as these actresses appear to look. They are literally shaving a good 20 to 30 years off their lives.   It’s just not possible for a human being of that age to look that young; it’s false…it’s FALSE ADVERTISING.

And the worst part of it is women everywhere are buying into it.


Women are fighting the signs of ageing, trying to defy it; it’s often described as a battle. We’ve had the era of women fighting for rights to vote and to achieve legal and financial equality. I am beginning to wonder what this generation of women will be known for. Could we be the women who fought the signs of ageing?  I really hope not. I hope that we come to our senses soon.

The irony continues, picture this…

Imagine a well-known Australian actress on a television ad, dancing around like a whimsical fairy with not a care in the world endorsing a product that apparently will give you healthy hair, skin and nails. Now imagine that the same actress has injected Botox into her face. (It doesn’t take a genius to work out who has and who hasn’t had Botox.) Now before anyone jumps on the “How dare you judge another woman for her decision” bandwagon, this is not about her decision to have Botox. It actually has everything to do with the fact that it is false advertising for a woman to endorse a product that claims to make your skin glow when part of the reason her skin is flawless, young and glowing is because she injects Botox into her skin.

Can the words health and Botox really be shared in the same sentence? I think not, it’s a big fat walking inconsistency.


Do you think that someone who injects Botox should be considered a health advocate? I just don’t believe you can have your cake and eat it too…on this occasion anyway.

Another Ambassador in another anti-ageing ad campaign claims “We’re so lucky to age, it is a privilege to grow old” but the photo that accompanies this quote is an almost unrecognisable, much younger version of her. Apparently it’s okay to age in years but not okay for your face.

And if false advertising isn’t enough, how about a quick dose of gender inequality in ad campaigns…

Brad Pitt for Chanel

Walking through Auckland Airport’s Duty Free shop recently I noticed these two photos advertising for Chanel – do you see something a little unusual?

Brad is adorned in wrinkles whilst Linda Evangelista (below) has been heavily airbrushed with the removal of wrinkles, blemishes and even pores! (Just for the record Brad and Linda are only a year apart in age.)  So apparently it is okay for a man to age but not ok for a women? Don’t get me started on that – another blog another time!

I understand that companies are here to make a buck from us. I get it. But surely they don’t have to use such dirty tactics? Can’t they be just a little more transparent? Do they have to be so insulting and treat us like idiots? This seems to fall under the definition of false advertising and women everywhere are falling for these miraculous claims.

Linda Evangelista for Chanel.

And if that’s asking too much, then let’s look inwards and be the change that we want to be in the world. Here’s a list of what you CAN do to embrace the signs of ageing:

– Awareness. Know that what you see in ad campaigns isn’t real and don’t buy into it.

– Open your mind to the idea that you have been brainwashed. Who made up the rules and said that ageing was offensive? Take a moment to reflect and consider the motivation behind the messages that try and make us feel insecure…

– Have gratitude. Getting older is a privilege denied to many.

– Stop buying anti-ageing creams, lotions, and potions. Invest the money you will save in an activity that feeds your soul.

And here is my personal mantra about ageing:

“The lines on my face only serve to remind me that life is short and the bucket list is long”

Happy ageing x

Taryn Brumfitt is the Founder of Body Image Movement, a global movement which teaches women to “suck it up” and love their bodies. “My role is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism, I’d like to think of myself as a loveable activist!”.

You can find her speaking at Corporate events, promoting her ebook “Body Lovin’ Guide“, wearing dinner plates or in the kitchen feeding her tribe of 3 under 7. She plans to take over the world, one fridge at a time with her positive and cheerful magnets!