CVS Health is making a huge change
CVS is one of the first major retailers to launch an initiative banning the use of Photoshop on ads and labels for its beauty brands, part of a major philosophical shift.
The drug chain is embarking on a landmark commitment to halt post-production photo alteration on beauty products. This decision comes at a time when body-positive activists have increasingly drawn attention to how the use of Photoshop digitally alters models to make them look thinner and blemish- and wrinkle-free, or to change eye or skin color.
The company also announced that it will introduce the "CVS Beauty Mark," a watermark that will be used to highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics. CVS Pharmacy will be working together with key brand partners and industry experts to develop specific guidelines in an effort to ensure consistency and transparency.
"As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day," said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. "The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."
This new initiative is being introduced in an effort to lead positive change around transparency in beauty as well as to allow customers to differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery. The CVS Beauty Mark will start to appear on CVS Pharmacy-produced beauty imagery in 2018 with the goal of all images in the beauty sections of CVS Pharmacy stores reflecting transparency by the end of 2020.
"We've reached out to many of our beauty brand partners, many of whom are already thinking about this important issue, to work together to ensure that the beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve," Foulkes added. "We've been inspired by their willingness to partner with us to redefine industry standards around this important issue for the well-being of all of our customers."
CVS Health has previously made significant changes in its retail stores with the health of its customers in mind, such as ending the sale of tobacco products, delivering healthier food options throughout CVS Pharmacy stores and committing to remove certain chemicals of concern from all store brand beauty and personal care items by 2019.