At NRF Show, CVS calls for transparency in beauty
In recognition of how unrealistic body images can negatively influence health, CVS on Monday committed to significantly reduce the amount the digitally-altered imagery it uses in selling beauty products.
“This is particularly focused on thinking about the future of our girls and all the imagery that makes them feel they’re not good enough,” said CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes in making the announcement at the NRF Big Show.
To consumers, the roll out will be evident in the introduction of a “CVS Beauty Mark,” a watermark that will highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. Key brand partners and industry experts will partner with CVS to develop guidelines to ensure consistency and transparency.
CVIS will begin using the mark on beauty imagery in 2018 with the goal of applying it to all images in its in-store beauty sections as well as on its websites, social media and any marketing materials reflecting “transparency” by the end of 2020. Imagery not passing the grade will be marked “digitally modified.”
Ms. Foulkes said early talks with suppliers show they are open to making changes as well.
Overall, Ms. Foulkes described the move as the latest iteration of CVS’s recent commitment to double-down on its positioning as a “health care company,” an initiative started when it ended the sale of tobacco products in 2014.
The lofty expectations created by the airbrushing of beauty images has been linked to eating disorders and self-esteem issues. But Ms. Foulkes also said the changes reflect the fact that “we’re in an incredible moment of women’s empowerment right now where women feel very much in control and willing to share what they’re thinking.”
She also pointed out that the popularity of YouTube in the beauty category shows that girls and young women aren’t looking for “celebrities who have been touched over so much; they want to see real people. They want to see themselves reflected in these images of beauty.”
She added, “This is not some mandate that CVS is doing just to be on our own pedestal but really a reflection of the consumer, and I think these beauty companies know that too.”
- CVS Pharmacy Makes Commitment to Create New Standards for Post-Production Alterations of Beauty Imagery – CVS
- CVS Vows to Stop Altering Beauty Images in Its Marketing – The Wall Street Journal
- VS bans photo manipulation for store beauty brands, will place alert label on others – USA Today
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you think women and girls will respond to CVS’s push for transparency in the beauty category? Do the changes have more to do with women’s empowerment, health issues or authenticity?