Sunday, 12 June 2011

Styled with lash inserts.

It is with an enormous amount of pleasure that I can say that my lifestyle choice is changing the way I look at the world of consumerism. I have never been easily led, either when it comes to the choices I make, following the crowd or making purchases, but it is only more recently that I have been watching adverts with new eyes. I am grateful to the advertising standards agency for providing me with a lot of pleasure and laughter at the various ridiculous adverts on screen and magazine. Especially the small print.

Here are some of my favourites:

Mascara adverts with small print at the bottom of the screen: 'Styled with lash inserts'.

Hair dye adverts done with Davina Macall which say at the bottom: 'Davina has been styled with hair extensions some of which have been dyed using the product.'

Most make-up ads: 'enhanced in post production'

A real favourite, walkers sensation crisps: 'Made with real ingredients'

Subway advert for their low fat sub sandwich: 'Only low fat when a 6" Sub with no sauces and on brown bread.'

Lipstick advert that claims all day long lasting colour: 'Top coat may need to be re-applied throughout the day'

Computer videos games showing fantastic action: 'Not actual screen shots.'

Once you get into the mode of seeing the small print, you begin to realise how ridiculous buying any of this stuff is and how advertisers are trying to fool the public all the time to part with our money for a product that doesn't actually do what it says. Unfortunately because they are getting popular house hold names to endorse the product they are tapping into the wannabe celebrity market, especially for things like beauty products.
For me, besides providing me with a good laugh, I thank the false claims for making me view all products with a certain amount of suspicion and cynicism. It is easy to start asking yourself if you actually need it, does it actually do something that will enhance your life, or if you can get something cheaper and just as effective, or best still, if you can make it yourself at home.

Perhaps the best small print an advert could say is using the words of William Morris: 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.' A good phrase to ask yourself before you buy anything.


  1. I always make sure that whatever I buy has justified its place on my shopping list. Unless I truely need it and have good use for it I shall stay well clear of buying. Also, never go food shopping when you have not eaten yet, as you are far more likely to impulse buy when hungry. Those are my principals and they work for me.

  2. Yes Sarina, the 'not shopping when hungry' rule is one I always use, it is so easy to load the basket with impulse buys when your stomach is ruling your shop.

  3. I saw a mascara advert the other day that said 'styled with lash inserts and enhanced post production', in fairly big letters. I mean it was obvious, Jersey cows don't have lashes that thick and luscious, let alone Zooey Deschanel but still some poor souls will be suckered in by it. Sometimes I can laugh, sometimes I am incensed by adverts, but they have no hold on me anymore. Which is good, because as a woman the majority of them are out there with the sole purpose of making me feel ugly and inadequate - and life is quite frankly too short.

  4. It is good once you have seen them for what they are, they do indeed lose their hold over you. You find you can read between the lines on everything and not get sucked in. At this point it can be quite funny to see the lengths some advertisers will go to. I do get a bit annoyed when adverts target children. This seems to happen less now, but I feel for the poor parents having to explain to them.

  5. They must think we were all born yesterday with this advertising nonsense. My favourite is Cheryl Cole describing something 'weak, limp, lifeless', is she talking about Ashley or her hair product?

  6. Because she's worth it.