August 1, 2017 - France recently enacted new legislation requiring that all altered or retouched commercial photographs of models, whose body appearance has been refined or thickened, be labelled as a retouched photograph. This legislation, which goes into effect on October 1, 2017, requires the label "photographie retouchée" or "photo retouchée".
"This legislation, which was passed to help fight eating disorders, will have significant impact on fashion, cosmetics, and other advertisers who retouch photographs," said Michel Bejot, Partner of Bernard - Hertz - Bejot in Paris, France.
The new legislation applies to photographs which are to be used in France for commercial purposes. It does not apply to images used for editorial purposes. Violations can subject advertisers to fines up to 37,500 Euros per violation or to enhanced damages.
The "retouched photograph" disclosure must be presented in an accessible and visible way and must be clearly distinguished from the other parts of the advertising.
"Advertisers should start making plans now to include appropriate disclosures, as needed," said Jeffrey A. Greenbaum, GALA's Chairman and Managing Partner of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz in New York. "Advertisers should also consider whether this will have an impact on a model's willingness to participate in a campaign where retouching is planned."
Earlier this year, France also enacted legislation that requires all models to provide a medical certificate confirming their general physical well-being and the fact they are not excessively underweight.