Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2014

Publication Citation

21 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 619 (2014)


The advertising industry serves an important purpose in our society by acting as the main source of information for consumers about products. Global advertisement spending reaches into the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Because advertising plays such a large role in the economy, regulators across the globe have increasingly sought to promote truth in advertising. As a result, advertising regulation has exploded in the recent decades. Recently, the beauty and fashion industries have come under fire from advertising regulatory bodies, most notably in Europe, for misleading and offensive advertising practices. Regulators and interest groups are concerned by the unrealistic portrayals of models in these advertisements and the effects these portrayals have on consumers, young women in particular. While the call for heavier regulation of beauty and fashion advertising has picked up steam in countries across the world, the United States has been more reluctant to regulate. The protection of commercial speech under the First Amendment makes it more difficult to enact such regulations in the United States than in other countries that have more regulatory-friendly cultures. Despite the hesitation by U.S. regulators to police advertising practices in the beauty and fashion industries, U.S. advertisers must take note of the global advertising trend and alter their advertising practices to conform to the growing cultural concern about misleading advertising. Taking such steps is necessary for U.S. companies to maintain their foothold with consumers in foreign markets.