The watchdog received more than 700 complaints via a website campaign orchestrated by Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson together with one direct complaint.
They all challenged the ad for making misleading claims because they believed that the image of Twiggy had been digitally enhanced and did not represent a fair portrayal of what the product could achieve. The Swinson-linked complaints also argued that the ad was socially irresponsible.
Earlier this year, Swinson oversaw a policy paper that called for all airbrushed photographs in magazines to be accompanied by a disclaimer.
P&G withdrew the ad in July and admitted that there had been Watchdog rules against misleading make-up ad some “minor retouching” of the image, which was “inconsistent with its policies”.
The image in the original ad was replaced by one with no postproduction work on the eye area. The company said the ad had been placed in magazines aimed at a more mature audience and did not accept there was any likelihood that the ad would have a negative impact on people’s perceptions of their body image.
The ASA cleared the ad of being socially irresponsible but ruled that the retouching could give consumers a misleading impression of what the product could achieve.