Rimmel adverts featuring the supermodel Kate Moss, which claimed a mascara brush lifted eyelashes, broke advertising rules, the industry watchdog said on Wednesday.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the company had failed to provide evidence that confirmed Moss was not wearing false eyelashes in TV and magazine adverts promoting its ``magnif'eyes mascara'' brush.
It also said Rimmel needed to include a disclaimer in future adverts making it clear when post-production techniques had been used to increase the effects of a product.
It is the third time in three months that the ASA has chastised cosmetics companies for their mascara adverts.
In July, L'Oreal was censured for its Telescopic mascara commercial featuring actress Penelope Cruz that ``exaggerated'' its effects and misled consumers by failing to make it clear that Cruz was wearing some fake individual lashes.
Then last month, Avon received a lashing for its Bright Eye Duo mascara and eyeshadow advert which featured a model wearing false eyelashes without a disclaimer.
ASA director of communications Claire Forbes said its message was getting through to cosmetics companies, but there would be a time delay because some adverts may already have been placed.
Rimmel had submitted a report in which it said it had tested the claim of 70 per cent more lash lift on 10 female panellists. It provided a table showing comparative measurements taken using digital imagery that recorded the difference in eyelash height before and after the product was applied.
They said the results showed the average recorded increase in lash lift from root to tip was 75 per cent.
But ASA said: ``Because the claim '70 per cent more lash lift' referred to an increase in the appearance of the lash length, and not an actual increase, we concluded that the ad could mislead.''
Advertising company J Walter Thompson (JWT) maintained that Moss was not wearing false eyelashes on the shoot, but did not send documentary evidence, ASA said.
The watchdog was concerned that JWT said it had cleaned up and enhanced the lashes in post-production without providing data that clarified to what extent.
``Because we had not received documentary evidence that Kate Moss was not wearing false lashes in the ads we concluded that the images of the eyelashes may have exaggerated the benefits of the product, and were likely to mislead consumers,'' ASA said.
It said Rimmel's TV ad breached rules relating to evidence and misleading advertising, while the magazine ad breached rules relating to truthfulness and substantiation.