L’Oreal denies lightening skin tone of Slumdog Millionaire actress in latest ad

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has categorically denied that any alterations were made to an advert featuring actress Freida Pinto amid allegations that the appearance of her skin has been ‘lightened’.

Fueled by speculation from online publications, national newspapers and online communities such as Facebook, L’Oreal came under fire after many accused it of lightening the appearance of Pinto’s skin in the new advert for its L’Oreal Paris Colours Take Flight make up range.

However, according to a company statement, a L’Oreal spokesperson said: “Freida Pinto has been a spokesperson for the L'Oréal Paris brand since 2009. We highly value our relationship with Ms.Pinto.”

‘Categorically untrue’

“It is categorically untrue that L'Oréal Paris altered Ms. Pinto's features or skin-tone in the campaign for Project Runway “Colors Take Flight” limited-edition collection.”

There are many possible explanations for the appearance of the image, such as the lighting, or perhaps a photoshop blunder, but despite L’Oreal’s statement many online discussion boards have been filled with consumers questioning the advertisements, with many articles doing the rounds on Facebook.

It is not the first time L’Oreal has come under this kind of scrutiny following accusations they had done the same to an image of Pinto when she signed for the brand as an ambassador back in 2009.

A history of allegations

However, these allegations were proved wrong when it revealed that the image in question at that time came from Pinto’s representatives not the skin care brand, exonerating it of any wrongdoing.

The same questions were also aimed at L’Oreal regarding a 2008 advert for its Feria hair colour product in which it was accused of lightening the skin tone of US singer Beyonce Knowles; an allegation that was once again categorically denied.

Earlier this year, L’Oreal did however admit to retouching and digitally enhancing images of Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for the Lancome and Maybelline brand adverts, which were ultimately removed and banned in the UK.

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