Dove Releases Photoshop Action To Undo Skin Retouching

In a guerrilla marketing move, Dove secretly released a Photoshop that would undo the work of retouching

It's a project that started as a rather clever bit of guerilla marketing. As part of the Campaign for Real Beauty that Dove has been running for the better part of a decade, the company quietly released a Photoshop action onto various websites, promising to retouch the image to give it a "beautiful glow." Instead the action would undo the existing retouches on the image, and add a banner saying "Don't manipulate our perceptions of real beauty." Unfortunately, what failed was the execution.

Despite the video above showing the step-by-step reversal, the action fails to revert any changes when dealing with a multiple-layer image. As image manipulation is usually the result of hundreds of layers of changes, the only change most artists will have seen is the banner, which admittedly is still a fairly effective way to make a point.

It's an interesting way to approach the debate about retouching in advertising. But lets not forget, that even though Dove rails against image manipulation, the Campaign for Real Beauty photos have been accused of being extensively retouched — just not quite to the extent of some other advertisers. Maybe Dove should start releasing their images straight out of camera.