- The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority banned two ads that promoted lip, cheek, and jawline filler procedures marketed as the “The Kylie Jenner Package.”
- The watchdog argued that the ads misled consumers by suggesting the procedures could make them resemble Jenner.
- A third ad for Botox, featuring an image of Kim Kardashian, was banned after the company suggested it had sufficient training to administer emergency drugs in the event of an adverse reaction, which the ASA said it did not.
- The brands have been warned not to use celebrities in their ads if they had not actually used their products.
Kylie Jenner Ads Banned
The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority banned three Instagram ads that promoted cosmetic procedures with photos of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.
The advertising watchdog said ads for Queen of Aesthetics and Faces by AKJ Aesthetics were “misleading” because they suggested their procedures could make customers look like Kylie Jenner.
Both used images of Jenner to promote lip, cheek, and jawline filler marketed as “The Kylie Jenner Package,” or the “The Kylie Package.”
The ASA challenged both companies on whether the ads misleadingly suggested that their packages would give features that closely resembled Jenner’s. Faces by AKJ Aesthetics said it used Jenner’s image because she would appeal to their target customers and because she and others in her family have had those procedures done.
It argued that she is a recognizable person who it used to show areas that could be treated, rather than to imply that their treatments could make customers look like her.
Ultimately, the ASA said, “We considered that consumers would, therefore, understand from the ads that they could achieve similar results to those of Kylie Jenner and that the photos accurately represented what could generally be achieved through the use of the advertised cosmetic procedures.”
“Therefore we expected to see that the person in the ad, Kylie Jenner, had used those products and the ad was a realistic depiction of what the products could achieve.”
The ASA also noted that AKJ offered the package as a competition prize, which it called an “irresponsible” move. On top of that, the company was criticized for using the hashtag #botox, which the ASA explained is a trademarked, prescription-only medicide that can’t be advertised.
Kim K Ad Banned
Along with that decision, the ASA also banned a third Instagram beauty ad run by Beauty Boutique Aesthetics. Their ad promoted Botox treatments using an image of Kim Kardashian. The text on the post read, “When someone is listing the reasons they don’t need Botox and all you can think about is how many units they need…”.
The caption went on to say, “Many beauty technicians may be more than qualified, but always ask yourself, can they administer emergency drugs if the client has an adverse effect? The answer is no.”
The caption suggested Beauty Boutique Aesthetics had sufficient training to administer emergency drugs in the event of an adverse reaction to a procedure, the ASA argued.
However, the ASA said it had found “no evidence” that the company had trained staff or resources to deal with adverse reactions to the procedures they administer. That company was also warned to not use “Botox” in future ads for cosmetic procedures.
Beauty Boutique Aesthetics has not responded to the ASA, however, Faces by AKJ Aesthetics agreed to change its practices. The company said it will not host similar competitions in the future. It will also include text on ads that say, “results may vary between clients” and “a number of treatments may be required to reach your desired look” on future ads
Meanwhile, Queen of Aesthetics responded by arguing that it had not posted any ads claiming it could make customers resemble Jenner. The company said it would be “almost impossible” for a customer to look like anyone other than themselves after a non-surgical cosmetic procedure.
Instagram’s Recent Policy Change
The crackdowns on these ads come after Instagram implemented new policies around similar plastic surgery or weight loss product posts. Under its new rules, cosmetic procedures or dietary product ads that include an incentive to purchase or a price listing will be restricted from users known to be under 18.
On top of that, the platform has said any content that makes a “miraculous” claim about diet or weight loss products and is linked to a commercial offer like a discount code will be removed from Instagram.
U.K. Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to U.S.
The judgment overrules a lower court decision that blocked the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition on the grounds that his mental health was not stable enough to weather harsh conditions in the American prison system if convicted.
New Developments in Assange Extradition Battle
A British court ruled Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act that could land him in prison for decades.
Prosecutors in the U.S. have accused Assange of conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010 to hack into a Department of Defense computer network and access thousands of military and diplomatic records on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The information obtained in the hack was later published by WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011, a move U.S. authorities allege put lives in danger.
In addition to a charge of computer misuse, Assange has also been indicted on 17 espionage charges. Collectively, the charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 175 years.
The Friday decision from the High Court overturns a lower court ruling in January, which found that Assange’s mental health was too fragile for the harsh environment he could face in the U.S. prison system if convicted.
Notably, the January ruling did not determine whether or not Assange was guilty. In fact, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser explicitly rejected the defense’s arguments that the charges against him were politically motivated and that he should be protected under freedom of press.
However, she agreed that the defense had provided compelling evidence that Assange suffers from severe depression and that the conditions he could face in the U.S. prison system were “such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.”
The U.S. appealed the ruling, arguing that Assange’s mental health should not be a barrier to extradition and that the psychiatrist who examined him had been biased.
In October, the Biden administration vowed that if Assange were to be convicted, he would not be placed in the highest-security U.S. prison or immediately sent to solitary confinement. Officials also said that the native Australian would be eligible to serve his sentence in his home country.
High Court Ruling
The High Court agreed with the administration’s arguments in its ruling, arguing that the American’s assurances regarding the conditions of Assange’s potential incarceration were “sufficient.”
“There is no reason why this court should not accept the assurances as meaning what they say,” the ruling stated. “There is no basis for assuming that the USA has not given the assurances in good faith.”
Assange’s fiancé, Stella Moris, said in a statement that his legal team would appeal the decision to the British Supreme Court at the “earliest possible moment,” referring to the judgment as a “grave miscarriage of justice.”
The Supreme Court will now decide whether or not to hear the case based on if it believes the matter involves a point of law “of general public importance.” That decision may take weeks or even months.
If the U.K. Supreme Court court objects to hearing Assange’s appeal, he could ask the European Court of Human Rights to stay the extradition — a move that could set in motion another lengthy legal battle in the already drawn-out process.
Assange and his supporters claim he was acting as an investigative journalist when he published the classified military cables. They argue that the possibility of his extradition and prosecution represent serious threats to press freedoms in the U.S.
U.S. prosecutors dispute that Assange acted as a journalist, claiming that he encouraged illegal hacking for personal reasons.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (NPR) (The Washington Post)
Early Data Indicates Omicron is More Transmissible But Less Severe
The studies come as Pfizer and BioNTech claim that preliminary research shows a third shot of their COVID vaccine appears to provide sufficient protection against the new variant, but two doses alone may not.
More Information About Omicron
Several preliminary studies published in recent days appear to show that the new omicron COVID-19 variant may be more transmissible but less severe than previous strains.
One recent, un-peer-reviewed study by a Japanese scientist who advises the country’s health ministry found that omicron is four times more transmissible in its initial stage than delta was.
Preliminary information in countries hit hard by omicron also indicates high transmissibility. In South Africa — where the variant was first detected and is already the dominant strain — new COVID cases have more than doubled over the last week.
Health officials in the U.K. said omicron cases are doubling every two or three days, and they expect the strain to become dominant in the country in a matter of weeks.
In a statement Wednesday, World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while early data does seem to show high transmissibility, it also indicates that omicron causes more mild cases than delta.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevent Director Rochelle Walensky echoed that sentiment, telling reporters that of the 40 known omicron cases in the U.S. as of Wednesday, nearly all of them were mild. One person has been hospitalized so far and none have died.
Studies on Vaccine Efficacy
Other recent studies have shown that current COVID vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness and death in omicron patients, and boosters provide at least some added protection.
On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that laboratory tests have shown a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine appears to provide sufficient protection against the omicron variant, though two doses may not.
According to the companies, researchers saw a 25-fold reduction in neutralizing antibodies for omicron compared to other strains of the virus for people who had just two Pfizer doses.
By contrast, samples from people one month after they had received a Pfizer booster presented neutralizing antibodies against omicron that were comparable to those seen against previous variants after two doses.
Still, Pfizer’s chief executive also told reporters later in the day that omicron could increase the likelihood that people might need a fourth dose earlier than previously expected, which he had initially said was 12 months after the third shot.
Notably, the Pfizer research has not yet been peer-reviewed, and it remains unclear how omicron will operate outside a lab, but other studies have had similar findings.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Bloomberg) (NBC News)
40 Camels Disqualified From Beauty Contest After Breeders Inject Their Faces With Botox
The animals were barred from competing for $66 million in prizes at this year’s King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia.
Camels Booted From Beauty Contest
More than 40 camels were disqualified from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia this week after judges found artificial enhancements in their faces, marking the biggest crackdown on contestants in the competition to date.
The animals were competing for $66 million in prizes at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, a month-long event that is estimated to include around 33,000 camels.
However, according to The Guardian, they were forced out of the contest when authorities found that breeders had “stretched out the lips and noses of the camels, used hormones to boost the animals’ muscles, injected heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands, and used fillers to relax their faces.”
Those types of alterations are banned since judges look at the contestant’s heads, necks, humps, posture, and other features when evaluating them.
An announcement from the state-linked Saudi Press Agency said officials used “specialized and advanced” technology to detect tampering.
“The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,” the SPA report added before warning that organizers would “impose strict penalties on manipulators.”
While it’s unclear what that actually entails, this isn’t the first time people have tried to cheat in this way.
In 2018, 12 camels were similarly disqualified from the competition for injections in their noses, lips, and jaw.