Fashion companies must disclose retouching of photographs in France

Companies in the fashion and cosmetic business which use photographs of models must now declare retouching or face major fines.

Commercial photographs will fall into new retouching laws hreni

New legislation in France will have implications for fashion and cosmetics companies which retouch photographs. Now all altered or retouched commercial photographs of models, whose body appearance has been refined or thickened, must be labelled as a retouched photograph. This legislation, which goes into effect on 1 October 2017, requires the label 'photographie retouchée' or 'photo retouchée.'  

Significant impact

The new law, which was passed to help fight eating disorders, will have significant impact on fashion, cosmetics, and other advertisers who retouch photographs, said Michel Bejot, partner of Bernard - Hertz - Bejot in Paris, France. It applies to photographs which are to be used in France for commercial purposes.  It does not apply to images used for editorial purposes.Violations can subject advertisers to fines up to 37,500 Euros per violation or to enhanced damages.  The 'retouched photograph' disclosure must be presented in an accessible and visible way and must be clearly distinguished from the other parts of the advertising.  


'Advertisers should start making plans now to include appropriate disclosures, as needed,' said Jeffrey Greenbaum, managing partner of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz in New York.  'Advertisers should also consider whether this will have an impact on a model's willingness to participate in a campaign where retouching is planned.' Earlier this year, France also enacted legislation that requires all models to provide a medical certificate confirming their general physical well-being and the fact they are not excessively underweight.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]