A mascara advert starring Hollywood actress Penelope Cruz has been branded "misleading" by Britain's advertising watchdog.
The L'Oreal ad for the makeup company's "telescopic" mascara was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it received a complaint that the star was wearing false eyelashes in the TV promotion.
ASA officials subsequently ruled that the ad had "exaggerated" the effect that could be achieved by using the mascara.
L'Oreal had told the advertising standards body that Cruz had been wearing a few individual false lashes for the ad, in order to fill in gaps in her natural lashes.
But the cosmetic firm insisted that scientific and consumer data supported its claim that the mascara being promoted made lashes appear "up to 60 per cent longer".
However the ASA said that L'Oreal had not made it clear that the claim related to the "appearance" given by the product and not its actual affect.
"While Penelope Cruz may not have been wearing a full set of false eyelashes, the images of her wearing individual false lashes in the press and TV ad and the lash lengthening visual in the TV ad nevertheless exaggerated the effect that could be achieved by using the mascara on natural lashes," the ASA ruled.
L'Oreal has now been ordered to include a disclaimer in future ads which feature models wearing false eyelashes. It was also told by the ASA to make clear that the "up to 60 per cent" claim about its mascara referred to the appearance of lashes and not an actual extension of their length after the product had been used.
Responding to the ruling, the cosmetics firm said that it would comply with the new requirements.
But defending the ad, L'Oreal added: "It is common industry practice to make use of some artificial lashes in order to ensure a consistent lash line under filming or shooting conditions.
"The ASA had previously accepted on more than one occasion that this industry practice was not misleading."