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CVS vows to ban photo manipulation in its marketing material for beauty products

Photo by Specious used under Creative Commons
Following in the footsteps of many fashion and lifestyle brands, CVS Pharmacy says it will soon ban photo manipulation in all marketing material for beauty products, both in-store and online.

In a statement made at the National Retail Federation’s convention in New York, CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said: “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established.” The statement later adds: “This new initiative is being introduced in an effort to lead positive change around transparency in beauty as well, as to allow customers to differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery.”

A key part of this ban is what CVS Pharmacy calls the “CVS Beauty Mark.” This label, which will appear as a watermark across in-store marketing material, will be used as a means to identify images that haven’t been “materially altered,” a phrase CVS Pharmacy defines as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles, or any other individual characteristics.”

The CVS Beauty Mark will start to be seen on marketing material produced by CVS Pharmacy in 2018. The end goal, according to CVS Pharmacy, is to have all images within the beauty sections of its stores reflect transparency by “the end of 2020.” To do this, CVS Pharmacy says it’s working hard with its beauty brand partners, “many of whom are already thinking about this important issue.”

CVS Pharmacy isn’t the first company to crack down on photo manipulation, specifically in regard to beauty and skin care products, but the fact it’s a retailer that sells scores of other products makes it a bit of a different story.

CVS Pharmacy is one of the largest retailers of beauty products and these changes are expected to affect more than 9,600 stores nationwide that carry beauty products from Maybelline, L’Oreal, Unilever, Revlon, Dove, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and many others.

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