H. R. 4341
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 27, 2014
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen (for herself, Mrs. Capps, and Mr. Deutch) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
To direct the Federal Trade Commission to submit to Congress a report on the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted.
This Act may be cited as the
Truth in Advertising Act of 2014
Congress finds the following:
Advertisers regularly alter images used in print and electronic media to materially change the physical characteristics of models’ faces and bodies, often altering the models’ size, proportions, shape, and skin color, removing signs of ageing, and making other similar changes to models’ appearance.
An increasing amount of academic evidence links exposure to such altered images with emotional, mental, and physical health issues, including eating disorders, especially among children and teenagers. There is particular concern about the marketing of such images to children and teenagers through distribution in teen-oriented publications, advertising displayed in public places outside the home, and online media.
Such altered images can create distorted and unrealistic expectations and understandings of appropriate and healthy weight and body image.
The dissemination of unrealistic body standards has been linked to eating disorders among men and women of varying age groups, but it has a particularly destructive health effect on children and teenagers.
Academic evidence has demonstrated a connection between the use of very thin models in advertising and consumer attitudes toward a brand based on such advertising, as well as a material influence of the use of such models on consumer purchase intent, conduct, and reliance.
In 2011, the American Medical Association adopted a policy encouraging advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations concerned with child and adolescent health to develop guidelines for advertisements, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications, that would discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.
Report by Federal Trade Commission
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall submit to Congress a report that contains—
a strategy to reduce the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted; and
recommendations for an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework with respect to such use.
Input of external stakeholders and experts
In preparing the report required by subsection (a), the Federal Trade Commission shall solicit input from external stakeholders and experts on the strategy and recommendations required to be included in such report. The Commission, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, shall ensure that input is obtained from an appropriate number of stakeholders and experts and, to the extent practicable, from stakeholders and experts that are geographically and culturally diverse and that include stakeholders and experts from the physical and mental health, business, and consumer advocacy communities.