The British branch of one of the world’s largest advertising, marketing, and public relations agency has announced they will no longer work with influencers who digitally manipulate their faces or bodies for brand campaigns.
Their move came almost three months after the UK government began discussing new regulations that would require influencers to publicly disclaim any images that are edited.
The Digitally Altered Body Image Bill aims at helping “to foster more honest and realistic representations of the way we look,” according to Conservative MP for Bosworth, Dr Luke Evans, who introduced the bill in Parliament.
“Edited images do not represent reality, and are helping to perpetuate a warped sense of how we appear, with real consequences for people suffering with body confidence issues, which I’ve seen first-hand in my role as a GP,” the MP wrote on Twitter.
Dr Evans told the House of Commons: “If someone has been paid to post a picture on social media which they have edited, or advertisers, broadcasters or publishers are making money from an edited photograph, they should be honest and upfront about it.”
Ogilvy’s head of influence, Rahul Titus, believes the company’s new regulations should advance the bill and help it get passed in Parliament.
“We have a duty of care as marketers, as agencies and brands, to the next generation of people so they don’t grow up with the same stuff we are seeing now,” Titus told marketing website, The Drum.
He added they’ve researched making the change, including by working with their behavioural sciences team and discussing the issue with influences.
“We need to educate our clients to give influencers the freedom to express themselves a little bit more.”
The changes will affect all the agency’s UK clients, including Vodafone, IBM, Coca Cola and Dove.
Dove has emphasized campaigns focused on “real beauty” for almost two decades, stressing “authenticity” as a key tenant of their brand.
Ogilvy said it will begin consulting with brands and influencers on the changes next month.