TIME Research

That Makeup Ad Is Probably Lying to You

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New study reveals how many ads for cosmetics are inaccurate or false

Only 18% of all claims made in commercials for cosmetics are generally trustworthy, according to new research released Monday.

Cosmetics firms often use advertising verbiage like “clinically proven” or “inspired by groundbreaking DNA research.” But researchers combed through these claims and found that the majority were vague and many are outright lies, according to a new study published in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing.

The researchers assessed 289 cosmetic ads, including ads for products like make-up, skincare and fragrance, featured in magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire. They then separated the various claims into different categories, including environmental claims, endorsement claims and scientific claims. The researchers rated them as “acceptable,” “vague,” “omission” or “outright lie.”

The study authors conclude that claims of “well-being and happiness” are usually not substantiated. “Those who back the claims with scientific evidence and consumer testing often use questionable methodologies for their substantiation,” the authors wrote.

TIME food&drink

San Francisco Approves Warning Label for Sugary Drink Ads

US-FOOD-BEVERAGE-HEALTH
Frederic J. Brown—AFP/Getty Images A woman shops for frozen foods on an aisle across from sodas and other sugary drinks for sale at a superrmarket in Monterey Park, California on June 18, 2014.

Measure is aimed at curtailing locals' consumption of high-calorie drinks

San Francisco lawmakers unanimously voted on Tuesday to put warning labels on all advertisements for sugary beverages in the City by the Bay. This first-in-the-nation law is set to go into effect this summer, which means billboards or taxi-cab ads for Coke or Gatorade will soon bear this message:

WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.

The new law, which the mayor has 10 days to sign or veto before it automatically goes into effect, was passed as part of a package aimed at curtailing locals’ consumption of high-calorie drinks linked to health problems such as weight gain and diabetes. The city’s board of supervisors also voted to ban advertisements for sugary drinks on publicly owned property—such as bus stops—and to prohibit the use of city funds for purchasing sugary drinks.

“Today, San Francisco has sent a clear message that we need to do more to protect our community’s health,” Supervisor Scott Wiener, who proposed the warning label, said in a statement. “These health warnings will help provide people information they need to make informed decisions about what beverages they consume. Requiring health warnings on soda ads also makes clear that these drinks aren’t harmless — indeed, quite the opposite — and that the puppies, unicorns, and rainbows depicted in soda ads aren’t reality.”

This victory for Wiener and his allies comes on the heels of a defeat for lawmakers last year, when they tried and failed to pass a tax on sugary drinks through a ballot initiative. (Berkeley, the liberal bastion across the Bay, succeeded in becoming the first city to pass such a tax.) This year and last year, a state lawmaker tried unsuccessfully to pass a California law that would have required sugary drinks or their location of purchase to bear a health warning label, much like packages of cigarettes.

When TIME asked Wiener whether advocates planned to try again for a soda tax, he said there was momentum for more of the same but no firm commitments yet. “There are discussions happening,” he said. “But it’s too soon to say.”

TIME advertisements

The Mad Men Finale Wasn’t a Paid Ad for Coke

"No money exchanged hands"

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the past day or so, you know that the AMC series Mad Men ended with the iconic “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” ad Sunday night. And it turns out Coke neither paid nor received any money for the inclusion in the show.

A Coke spokesman told People that “no money exchanged hands” as part of the show. While Coke did know that its brand would play into the finale, officials say they were not aware exactly how the show would end.

Read more at People.

TIME Advertising

19 Real-Life Ads from the Mad Men Era

A look at the actual ad campaigns of Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce's clients

On Sunday, Mad Men returns for its final lap around the boardroom table, with just seven episodes to go before Don, Peggy and the Sterling Cooper family ascend to TV heaven. (And just before the sideburns get out of control, too.) Though the show is about advertising, it is, of course, about more. It’s about reckoning with one’s true identity, the fallout from suppressing inner demons, fumbling through parenthood and any number of other themes which have been, and will continue to be, thoroughly hashed out in the Mad Men Think PieceTM.

But the taglines and campaigns developed over tumblers of brown liquor have made for some of the show’s most memorable moments. They’ve cleverly played off real ad campaigns from the 1960s and tapped into the ethos of an era. How, though, do these fictional campaigns compare to the real thing? There’s no better way to answer that question than to hold them up against their real-life counterparts. Here, a collection of real ads that appeared in LIFE Magazine during the 1960s, for the same clients served by Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce — and a few more for good measure.

TIME

This Ad for Totino’s Pizza Rolls Is Disturbing in the Best Possible Way

"Pizza freaks unite"

Tim and Eric’s new ad for Totino’s Pizza Rolls is a little bit like an art house film from which you need to flee after 10 minutes. It’s a little bit like a nightmare in which the creepiest characters from Pee Wee Herman’s Adventure and American Horror Story commandeer your brain’s control center and threaten never to return you to normalcy. And it’s certainly… different.

The comedy duo, whose shows Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Bedtime Stories have appeared on Adult Swim, made an ad that can only be described as having sprung forth from the collective sensibility of two people who are seriously disturbed in all the best ways. It follows their recent ad for General Electric, in which Jeff Goldblum sported gold chains and a questionable ’70s wig to sell light bulbs.

An effective ad leaves viewers salivating and halfway out the door to buy whatever good it’s hawking. Hunger is not exactly the feeling this ad inspires. But if the goal is to produce terror at the mere sight of a pizza roll, then it’s definitely done its job.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 5

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Beyond PTSD: Returning soldiers struggle to recover from the ‘moral injury’ of war.

By Jeff Severns Guntzel in On Being

2. On climate and so many other scientific issues, the way we communicate polarizes audiences. We can do better.

By Paul Voosen in the Chronicle of Higher Education

3. Entrepreneurs and educators need to observe students in school if they want to make real change.

By Alex Hernandez in EdSurge

4. Lifesaving ultrasound technology may soon come to a device the size of an iPhone. The applications for medicine in the developing world are massive.

By Antonio Regalado in MIT Technology Review

5. Many Arab governments are fueling the very extremism they purport to fight and are looking for U.S. cover. Washington should play the long game.

By Michele Dunne and Frederic Wehrey at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME celebrities

Watch Darren Aronofsky and Woody Harrelson’s Climate Change Ad

The Noah director continues on his environmentalist bent

The director Darren Aronofsky claimed his recent film Noah was about contemporary environmental concerns, reframing the Biblical tale of the rising oceans through a modern lens: “The water is rising,” he told a CNN interviewer, “and we already saw it once. We are living the second chance that was given to Noah.”

Now Aronofsky is making his political point yet more forcefully, and without the benefit of allegory. The director has enlisted Woody Harrelson to narrate his new ad encouraging voters to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections and vote on the basis of climate change. This is hardly Aronofsky’s first foray into advertising (he’s made both anti-meth PSAs and a perfume ad) — but with its ominous images of seeping gas leading into cataclysmic scenes of ice shelves collapsing and forest fires, it may be his most striking, and proof positive that the themes he explored in Noah are ones he’s going to keep exploring.

TIME Companies

Get Ready, SoundCloud Users: Ads Are Coming

Lorde performs during Lollapalooza 2014 at Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2014 in Chicago.
Theo Wargo—Getty Images Lorde performs during Lollapalooza 2014 at Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2014 in Chicago.

But you may soon be able to skip the ads by paying for a subscription

SoundCloud, the popular free music-sharing platform that’s helped artists like Lorde skyrocket to fame, is introducing advertisements to its service.

The company said Thursday that select content creators will be able to authorize playing ads beside their tracks and collect some of the revenue from those ads. The ads will first roll out in the U.S., but they’re expected to appear for international users soon, SoundCloud announced.

Ads mark a big step for the music streaming service, which has struggled to monetize its vast user base that includes some 175 million listeners a month. Until now, the service has earned revenue by charging some of its most active content providers.

SoundCloud Chief Business Officer Jeff Toig told the New York Times that most of SoundCloud’s ad revenue will go to content providers, including Sony/ATV, BMG, the comedy show Funny or Die, and independent rapper GoldLink, for example. SoundCloud has already signed up Red Bull, Jaguar and Comedy Central to run ads on the platform, according to the Times.

But you may soon be able to skip the ads, if you’re willing to pay. The Times reports that, over time, the service plans to roll out subscription plans for listeners who want to skip the ads, much like you can do on Spotify, another music-streaming service.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: August 15

1. 1,000 new visas is a good start, but to continue building trust, the U.S. must further expand the visa program for Afghans assisting ISAF at great risk.

By Jordan Larson in Vice

2. It’s not too late for the Internet to ditch pop-up ads and build a better web.

By Ethan Zuckerman in the Atlantic

3. A peace deal may be the only way to relieve Gaza’s “health disaster.”

By Dana Lea in Politically Inclined

4. Now ubiquitous, mobile phones can close the gap for maternal health care.

By Becky Allen and Jenna Karp at the Council on Foreign Relations

5. To save the African elephant, we must ban all ivory sales for a decade or more.

By Daniel Cressey in Nature

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME advertisements

This Toyota Ad Is Utterly Insane — and Wonderful

Jungle Wakudoki, a.k.a. the most delightful two minutes of your day

Japanese ads are an art form in and of themselves. But this spot produced for Toyota by agency Dentsu Aegis is incredible nonetheless. The premise is dead simple: a group of businessmen are driving through the jungle in their Toyota truck. When they pull over to let one of them relieve themselves, things get … well crazy. The spot is part of a campaign dubbed “Do the Wakudoki,” which encourages consumers to submit clips of themselves dancing.

[AdWeek]

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