Phew! Congress Look To Regulate Photoshopped Ads

Having solved all of America’s problems, it’s easy to do things like this. It’s for the kids, ya know

(Yahoo) Could the beautiful and perfect airbrushed images we often see in advertisements become a thing of the past? Yes – if a bill proposed by Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and California Congresswoman Lois Capps becomes law, that is.

The federal bill, dubbed the “Truth in Advertising Act of 2014,” was introduced by Ros-Lehtinen on March 27. But it’s the brainchild of Los Angeles father-of-two Seth Matlins, founder of Feel More Better, a female-empowerment website, who was inspired to move into the political realm by British Parliament member Jo Swinson’s successful 2011 push to remove unrealistic ads in the UK. He authored the proposed legislation with the following goals: to convince the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the impact such images have on culture, particularly young girls, and to provide recommendations for how advertisers can operate with a social conscious – just as it does with cigarette and alcohol ads. Matlins has also created a petition in support of the bill, which as of Wednesday, had more than 16,000 signatures and many passionate comments, including, “My daughter has a eating disorder that we have been fighting for a few years. She has almost taken her life several times. This is a real and very deadly problem!”

See? It’s for the kids. But, don’t worry, it’s totally not censorship

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Are You Trying to Censor Advertising?
No. We are trying to stop the deception and public health damages linked to ads that materially change the appearance of the people in them.

Because Government knows better.

Is the TIAA trying to Stop All Use of Photoshop in All Ads?
No. The bill does not ask for specific solutions. It simply asks the FTC to take 18 months, bring together all the stakeholders (consumer groups, health groups, women’s, girls and media activists, eating disorders groups and the advertising community) to figure out how it can protect consumers from this type of advertising moving forward. Then, the FTC will report back to Congress with their recommendations, remedies, and regulatory framework.

So, the Bill doesn’t actually do anything? Just a time and money waster to spread awareness and bully advertisers?

Here’s the problem: using the power of The Federal Government to enforce a set of complaints against private entities. The Constitution certainly provides a means to petition for redress of grievance. That said, the grievance is supposed to be against Government, not other private entities.

Fortunately, there are only three Representatives pushing this. Two Dems, one Republican. Seriously, they’re worried about photoshopped images that create unrealistic body standards. Well, there are tons of non-shopped images that do the same. This is just Big Government for Big Government’s sake. If the group pushing this, The Brave Girls Alliance, was really brave, they’d go to the companies themselves, rather than just using Government Force.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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