Citing a link between advertisements and an unrealistic body image, CVS announced that the national pharmacy chain will no longer use touched-up images in advertisements for its beauty products.
Beginning this year, the company will introduce the “CVS Beauty Mark” to inform customers that the images in ads have not been “materially altered,” defined as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”
CVS plans to work with brand partners and industry members to develop specific guidelines to ensure consistency and transparency in the effort. If a third-party supplier of beauty products uses altered photos in its materials, the images will be labeled as such, the company said.
In support of its plans, the company cited statistics that 80 percent of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad and two-thirds of women strongly agree that the media has set an unrealistic standard of beauty.
“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, said in a statement. “As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
CVS aims to achieve full compliance in its roughly 9,600 stores nationwide by the end of 2020.
To read CVS’ blog post announcing the change, click here.
Why it matters: CVS said the ad changes were a natural next step in the company’s efforts to focus on the health of its customers, following the cessation of tobacco product sales and a commitment to remove certain chemicals from store brand beauty and personal care items by 2019. Whether competitors will chart a similar course with regard to advertisements remains to be seen, although some major beauty brands have already indicated their support.