Computer (illustrative)
Computer (illustrative)Flash 90

Beginning Tuesday, a new law requiring honesty in advertising goes into effect in Israel. The so-called “Photoshop law” will require advertisers or publishers to indicate if a photo has been enhanced digitally to make it, or the product it is advertising, more attractive. In addition, male or female models appearing in ads will have to provide evidence that the physique on display is accurate, and that their weight has not been “adjusted” using computer software.

The law was proposed by MK Rachel Adato (now a member of Tzippy Livni's Hatnua party), head of the Knesset health lobby. Adato proposed the law out of concern that young Israelis, especially girls, were being presented with body standards that were impossible to achieve. Adato hopes that the new law will curb instances of bulimia and anorexia, especially among girls insecure about their shapes. Some 30 young Israelis die annually from bulimia/anorexia, Adato said.

In addition, Adato said, the law would require more honesty from advertisers regarding their products. Often a product in a photo or ad is “enhanced” to make it appear better than it really is, with consumers disappointed when they see that the product they bought was of lower quality or inferior appearance.

According to the new law, advertisers will be allowed to digitally enhance photos – but they will have to inform consumers that they did so. The enhancement notice must be of a size that is at least 7% of the ad space, the law adds.