Because we are in a digital age, it’s very easy to manipulate images according to however we like it. With photo-retouching, the fine line between what’s real and what’s not sometimes becomes impossible to see. There are however instances, when it becomes so obvious that it’s hard to miss it. Take this one for example.
In late September, the blog Photoshop disasters and the blog Boing Boing posted the Ralph Lauren ad showing a ridiculously thin model and caused a lot of buzz in the blogosphere.
Ralph Lauren, who has had enough of the online attention their ad was garnering (not a positive one either), sent out notifications to the two blogs on copyright infringement. Dated October 6, PRC USA Holdings, Inc. (that’s Ralph Lauren), the letter informed the blogs that they didn’t have authorization to post the ad and threatened forced asked that the ad be removed from the site.
Google’s Blogger, host of Photoshop Disasters complied but Boing Boing stood their ground and spat back. In a blog post Tuesday, Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow wrote in a blog post:
Instead of responding to their legal threat by suppressing our criticism of their marketing images, we’re gonna mock them. So, to Ralph Lauren, GreenbergTraurig, and PRL Holdings, Inc: sue and be damned. Copyright law doesn’t give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:
a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;
b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and
c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.
In a statement to Extra (not sure whether this is in response to Boing Boing’s reply), Ralph Lauren acknowledged that indeed, the image was doctored (big surprise there huh? 😉 )
“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately,” according to the statement.