They’re selling us dreams and creaming it in

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You’d think you’d know where you are with Nivea, wouldn’t you?

A down-to-earth, inexpensive skincare brand your mother bought, and hers before her, you don’t expect them to resort to dirty tricks.

But in a bid to persuade us their anti-wrinkle cream Vital has little short of miraculous age-defying properties, Nivea seems to have decided that the absolutely stunning 62-year-old model it had employed for the print version of their advert didn’t look young enough to be promoting it.

So they re-touched her around the mouth and eyes - got rid of the telltale little lines and those annoying brown age spots that the likes of you and I hope a skin cream alone is going to remove. Because we’re daft enough to think that the women in these ads look so good because of the product they are promoting - a female idiosyncrasy the beauty companies milk at every opportunity.

What brands can women actually trust? The reality of modern beauty marketing is that virtually no advertising image escapes manipulation. Mascara ads convince us we’ll get lashes the length of a cow’s with one sweep. Shampoo ads are equally loads with impossible promises.

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned Nivea’s ad for being misleading and exaggerating the effect of using the cream. Nivea’s Vital may ‘reduce all major signs of mature skin ageing’ like it says on the pack - but nowhere near as much as the digital scalpel did for the 62-year-old model, one Cindy Joseph, championed as a great example of oldie hottie.

What gets me is why go to all the trouble of booking a sixtysomething, then set about de-ageing her? Why not just employ a model in her fifties for the job? Sounds like someone at Nivea got cold feet. I’m sure there’s a cream for that...