11 - 12 September 2017 | Boston, MA

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

"Fake Advertising": Allergan Should Be Red in the Face for Using "Before & After" Images in Rhofade & Kybella Ads


Allergan is again resorting to side-by-side "before and after” images in a drug ad to prove that Rhofade - its new drug for the treatment of redness of the face, aka rosacea - works. This is the same technique the company used  to promote Kybella for double chin syndrome.

In the Kybella case, I analyzed the figures and suspected foul play; i.e., the after image was just a retouched version of the before image. That ad, however, claimed they were “unretouched photos” (read "Kybella Double Chin TV Ad: Are the BEFORE & AFTER Photos REALLY Unretouched as Claimed?").

Despite some anonymous commentator to my Kybella blog post claiming he/she “worked on this campaign and I saw first hand that not one photo in the treatment area was retouched,” I don’t buy it.

But I will point out that the photos in this ad for Rhofade are definitely not retouched versions of the same photo. The ad, however, says “Illustration only.” Which means this is not a real case study of a real person’s response to the drug.

Perhaps that commentator to my Kybella post learned from my blog to be more careful about using fake before-and-after imagery.

Whatever! Allergan is again practicing misleading and/or false advertising, IMHO!

Or you can just call it "Fake Advertising," which, until now, we've mostly seen in weight loss commercials. "These adverts portray false and unobtainable results to the consumer and give a false impression of the product's true capabilities. If retouching is not discovered or fixed a company can be at a competitive advantage with consumers purchasing their seemingly more effective product, thus leaving competitors at a loss" (wikipedia).

See the embedded scoop below for more on the Rhofade campaign:

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