Thursday 29 April 2010


A while ago I mentioned a case where Twiggy was using a heavily air brushed photograph to sell Oil of Olay. Someone had complained to the Advertising Standards Agency. They found no case to answer; no one, they thought, would believe that a 60 year old woman could have a complexion like that from using the product alone.

I disagreed. Some people are so desperate for youth that they will believe anything at all to achieve the perfect and flawless youth that the advertisement appeared to offer. They spend money they can't afford and end up disappointed when it makes no difference.

To be fair to Proctor & Gamble they did change the photograph that was used in the ad for something slightly less unrealistic.

I made the point then that if someone is selling oven chips, or
holidays in Majorca and they want to use an airbrushed photograph then that is perfectly OK. I had no problem, for example, when David Cameron’s photo was airbrushed for one of the campaign posters...and to be honest I couldn’t see why other people did.

But I felt and still feel that, if you are selling a product that claims some sort of youth-giving properties, then you should be honest about the effects of the results of the produ
ct on regime and you shouldn't try to mislead with photographs so heavily airbrushed.

So why revisit the subject? Well, the other day my eye was caught in Sainsbury by a book by one time Scottish pop singer Lulu. I imagined it to be a biography, so I had a closer look (you know, Scottish lassie done well) and it turns out it is “Lulu’s Secrets to Looking Good”, so I put it back on the shelf. (Yes, I do want to look good, but I doubt Lulu’s book’s gonna be much good to me. Anyway, I'm pretty lovely without tips!!)

Once again though, I was struck by the photo on the cover. Now I’ve seen her from time to time on telly, and there is no doubt about it, Lulu looks fantastic for her age. At 61 she has a figure and face of a much younger woman, maybe of around 40, but look at the book's photograph. She looks around 20. If this were a publicity photograph for a tour, or an album cover, it would be mildly misleading but of no real importance.

But this photograph is trying to sell women a book of secrets to stay young.

It's not illegal and the Advertising Standards Agency would undoubtedly have no problem with it but I’m disappointed that the Scottish lassie from the tenements of Glasgow would use this kind of ploy to make money out of a gullible public.

Pics: Lulu's book photograph and one taken a couple of years ago, still gorgeous but not 20!


  1. Naw naw, tris. Ye've got her wrang there, wee Lulu. She wis never a wee lassie fae the tenements. She wis nae 'Lulu fae the block' tho she may gie ye the flannel.

    Her an' i were pals ye see. Well ah say pals, but we were mair like freenemies, if ye get ma drift. She stayed up a stair, ah'll gie her that, but it wis a posh yin wi' flooers oan the landins, an' every door had a bit cairpet at it. Her faither had a guid job in the yairds, an' they nivver wantit fer much. He spent aw' his spare cash oan his 'wee Lulu' an' she got whitever she wanted. Aw the potions an' lotions ye could buy. If ah wis pickin' her up oan the way tae school she wid nivver be ready. She startit havin' her first plastic surgery when she wis six. "Jist a wee tuck, that's aw" she says at the time. Ah didnae think her nose wis that big. She wis a right madam, nae wonder her mither was bothered wi' her nerves.

    So dinnae let her get awa wi' it. You get ontae her tris.

    (Dinnae mention ma name tho will ye tris. Ah' no wantin' her at ma door. It wis me that gave her the frock she wore oan the Eurovision Song Contest when she sung 'Boom Bang-a-bang' an' she's been mad at me ever since. Ah had tae flit.)


  2. Mum's the word Sophia.

    I can be discrete.

  3. Nah you wouldn't Niko and Conan. She wouldn't let you!

  4. Just left Lulu in bed popped out for a
    quick fag and then back for round two

  5. She was just on the phone to me thanking me for the publicity for the new book. She mentioned you'd nipped out for a fag (although she said she didn't know where you'd get one at this time of night).

    The bad news is she's locked the door. No round 2 mate!! Wonder why!!

    BtW. I was 'forbidden' to open your link. Maybe I'm too young ....?

  6. Mr MixedPickle what a horrible thought. This time I think I will join Lulu for a weep.

  7. Niko/Conan/Tris

    Been there, done that!


    Do you write the script for the old lady remembering her war-time activities in Chewing the Fat?

  8. Aye Brownlie, Lulu told me about that too...actually Cilla Black, Madonna and Petula Clark mentioned you too.... You do get around...

  9. Eck played a good game tonight on QT. So did Janet Street-Porter. Both got great rounds of applause and spoke common sense!

    The rest were just plain crap, trotting out the aprty line on everything without any thought at all.

    The lass who asked them all to treat us with a bit more respect and tell us the truth was the star of the show.

  10. All beauty products exaggerate the mythical powers that their products can produce. Clearly a woman in her 60's can not make herself look like someone in her twenties so it is false selling and misleading the public.

    On the other hand maybe Sophia has a secret remedy for looking so young?

  11. LOL @ Allan....

    I'd better be careful her, there's a chance that Sophia will be putting out her own book on how to stay young, lovely and screamingly funny any day now....

  12. Tris

    Lol and the funny thing is, it would probably be a best seller!

  13. Niko, Conan and Tris

    I really have, at the Lindella, just off Sauchiehall Street and below the Art School.

    I wuz one of Lulu's luvvers!!!

    Wee Marie Laurie

    Happy daze!!!

  14. I find that imbibing a few pints makes ladies look much more attractive. I was having a drink with Maggie Thatcher once and ........!

  15. At least she told me her name was Maggie Thatcher. Initially, she looked like Jim Murphy with long hair and after a few pints turned into Billie Piper. She told me she had a son called Tom Tom who was falsely accused of stealing a pig but who went on to invent a satnav system.

  16. Yes Bugger. I bet she made you relaly want to shout!

  17. You'll need to let me know wht it is you drink up your way Brownlie. I think I could do with a couple of buckets of it.

    (So, that was who stole my pig. Imagine yer pig being stolen by a drum. How embarrassing.)

  18. The stupidity of the criminal mind.

    First you steal a pig and then you invent the means whereby the polis can find their way to your door. ....

  19. Allan,

    I'd buy a copy!

  20. tris,

    Ah wouldnae! It'd be fu' o' guff.

  21. Oh yeah Allan. I like Sophia's "guff".

  22. I'd buy it as well - go, Sophia!