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Advertising Age reports that a story in The New Yorker contains a claim by a photo airbrush artist that he doctored pictures used in Unilever's "real beauty" campaign for Dove Soap, in which women are portrayed warts and all in their underwear. The concept behind the ads is that women are beautiful even if they are not supermodels, but the artist, Pascal Dangin, says that "it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone's skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive."

This morning, Unilever issued a statement denying the charge, saying that the photos were only color corrected and that there was no digital enhancing of the images. And the airbrush artist is now saying that his statement was taken out of context by The New Yorker.

If true, the story would at the very least undermine a broad and highly visible marketing effort aimed at redefining the notion of beauty.

KC's View:
I love The New Yorker, used to do some work for the magazine, and know that its vaunted fact-checking department is second to none. But I really hope they're wrong on this one, because I love that campaign and have even shown some of the videos supporting it to my daughter. It is that rare campaign – smart, perceptive, reflecting a cultural truth and supporting the brand message.