L'Oreal denies 'whitening' Beyoncé Knowles' skin
09 Aug 2008 07:03 | Staff Reporter
The light-skinned woman with the flowing blonde hair would like you to buy some hair dye.
But a closer look at the advertisement for the cosmetics giant L'Oréal reveals that all is not well with the face of its campaign. It appears that L'Oréal has caused not just her hair but her skin to change colour.
In an advertisement published in the September issues of several glossy fashion magazines, the singer Beyoncé exhibits a skin colour several tones lighter than her natural hue. After the metamorphosis was highlighted on a celebrity website, the company issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.
"Beyoncé Knowles has been a spokesperson for the L'Oréal Paris brand since 2001," the company said. "It is categorically untrue that L'Oréal Paris altered Ms Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Féria hair colour."
A representative for the singer said that although she might look different, there was little doubt that the woman in the glossy advertisement was his client.
"There is no doubt that anyone seeing that ad will know that it is Beyoncé," said Hollywood publicist Alan Nierob.
But Eric Deggans, the chairperson of the media monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists, told the New York Post that in the picture Beyoncé's "skin is lighter than the way I'm used to seeing her".
"Advertisers and magazines need to be careful about this, even if it's just a production process," he said.
Whether the changes in Beyoncé's appearance constitute a breach of contract remains to be seen. The deal first signed between the singer and the cosmetics company in 2001 was initially worth $4,7-million over five years.
For that money, the singer was required to work 10 days each year. The contract also stipulated that she maintain "approximately the same physical appearance and health", and apprise L'Oréal of "any radical changes to her hair". The contract also gives L'Oréal the right to inspect Beyoncé's hair -- as long as it gives two weeks' notice.
The company was reprimanded by the British Advertising Standards Authority last year for claiming, in a campaign featuring the actor Penélope Cruz, that one of its products could lengthen eyelashes. Cruz wore false eyelashes for the advertisements. - guardian.co.uk
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