Ralph Lauren is in the news for using what appears to be a photoshopped ad of a model whose head is larger than her pelvis. Is that humanly possible?

It appears to be a vain effort to change the looks of its models to fool the public into buying its clothes – as in – photoshopping models to appear thinner to supposedly enhance the look of the clothing on a person.

But that was only the minor news. No one would have heard about it.

Until, Ralph Lauren’s stupid attorney (or maybe its Ralph Lauren’s ad agency’s stupid attorney), Roxanne Elings from GreenbergTraurig, started sending copyright infringement notices to websites displaying the questionable ad and talking about the propriety of photoshopping models in ads.

Then, like an attempt to ban a book, the story and ad went viral – appearing on Yahoo and all over the net. How many “banned” books, commercials, ads, etc., can you find on websites, YouTube, etc? Yep, it’s the dumbest tactic that almost always backfires.

Now, Ralph Lauren has a much bigger publicity problem.

First step, if I were Ralph Lauren, would be to fire Roxanne Elings.

Second step, models are already disproportionate in size to the average person buying the clothes. There is no need to photoshop ads.

Oh yeah, you can see the ad below and make up your own mind about it. Obviously, I’m not afraid of Roxanne Elings either. It is one thing of something is engaged in copyright infringement by copying material trying to profit from it.

It is quite another when a bad ad is displayed as an example of a bad ad, especially in the context of the ongoing debate about whether models are too thin (think European actions against rail thin models) or whether photoshopped fake pictures (think of the OJ magazine picture) should be permitted without a disclaimer and notice, and threats are made as a result.

Ralph Lauren's Newsworthy Ad
Ralph Lauren's Newsworthy Ad


Ralph Lauren has issued this apology:

“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”

Ralph Lauren “Photoshopped Ad” and It’s Stupid Attorney Roxanne Elings
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