The Parents Television Council announced its support for the “Truth in Advertising Act,” which would enable the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study the harm caused to consumers over images in advertisements that have been photo-shopped or altered. The bill (H.R. 4445) is being cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
We support these bipartisan efforts in Congress to address deceptive and potentially harmful advertising. It’s well-known that images in ads aren’t always what they seem. This bill allows the FTC to study the harmful impact that these dishonest ads can have, particularly on children and teens, and then to make recommendations and offer clear guidelines to advertisers.
Unhealthy media images are everywhere, and it is literally impossible for parents to be the gatekeepers for their children. The problem is that many of these ads have been digitally altered to sell a standard of ‘beauty’ that our children easily believe is real and that they have to attain. It’s a false narrative and it is harming young people, as determined by the American Psychological Association. That is one of the reasons we created our ‘4 Every Girl Campaign’ – to create a media environment where all girls feel valued and are defined by healthy images of themselves.
As a note to the creative community: this bill doesn’t prohibit anything, nor does it interfere in any way with the creative process. It only discloses the truth about the advertisement, just as a food label discloses its ingredients. This ‘Truth in Advertising Act’ will serve as one step towards changing our culture – and our children’s lives – for the better.