Bruno Fagali, a Brazilian lawyer who frequently writes on the news about ethics and new government regulations recently reported about changes in government regulations that affect advertisers and advertising agencies. As of October first France has required photographs that are taken through advertising agencies to advertise a product or service to add a warning stating that the photograph has been retouched.
Fagali notes that health officials prompted the placement of this warning on retouched photographs. Officials were concerned that people who saw the retouched photographs would not be able to achieve the same results through diet or exercise. These unrealistic expectations would foster an unhealthy fixation when trying to reach unattainable results. Read more about fagali at ibdee.org.
The French government issued decree 2017-738 to regulate an article of the French Code of Public Health. Health officials wanted a warning placed on retouched photographs because more than 30,000 people suffer from anorexia and there is a very high death rate. Most of the people who suffer from anorexia are adolescents. Adolescents suffer from anorexia because they are trying to achieve an impossible standard of beauty.
The photoshop warning is not the first time that French health officials have taken an interest in how fashion affects public health. Fagali states that since 2016 French models must have a certificate that certifies that they are healthy from a doctor. The certificate includes the model’s body mass index, and models can face high fines of 75, 000 euros and a six-month prison sentence if they don’t comply with the law. There is a fine of 37.5 euros for any advertising agency that does not place the photoshop warning or advertisements that include photographs of photoshopped models. The government can also choose to add a fine of 30% of the expenses that the advertising agency used in making all of its advertising.
Though the idea of a photoshop warning was widely promoted since 2016, it has just now become law. The French government is not the only government to consider taking action. The Isreali government talked about taking action in 2012 and Australia also discussed placing a warning on photoshopped images in 2014. Fagali explains that the Brazilian government was ahead of the game in taking action. The Brazilian government issued Bill 6853/2010 in 2010. The bill requires that photoshopped images include a warning making the public aware that the image has been retouched.