The television advert showed several images of Delevingne applying the mascara and close-ups of the finished effect, while a voiceover said: “New max-density brush for clump free lashes. Extreme volume ... Extreme wear.”
Defending the ad after a viewer complained that it misled consumers, Rimmel owner Coty UK said it used lash inserts to fill in gaps and create a “uniform lash line” in accordance with industry practice.
Ad clearance agency Clearcast said Coty had not used lash inserts to mislead or exaggerate the effects of the mascara, and said the company had not lengthened or thickened any lashes in post-production.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers were likely to understand from the ad that using the mascara would lead to the appearance of thicker and fuller eyelashes.
It said: “We noted Coty’s assertion that the post-production techniques used were not intended to lengthen the model’s eyelashes. However, we considered that they did appear to be longer in the after photo.
“Because the ad conveyed a volumising, lengthening and thickening effect of the product we considered the use of lash inserts and the post-production technique were likely to exaggerate the effect beyond what could be achieved by the product among consumers.
“We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.”
The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, and told Coty UK “not to exaggerate the effect the product was capable of achieving”.
Coty said: “Coty has worked closely with the ASA since the complaint was raised in December.
“While we regret the decision of the ASA, we will of course comply with the ruling and not air the TV commercial again in this state.”