This Pharmacy Chain Just Banned Photoshopped Images for Its Store Brands


In another move to portray a more realistic image of the human form, American drug store giant and soon-to-be insurer CVS announced it is banning images produced through “photo manipulation” for its store brands.

CVS is also asking other manufacturers to join in the photo manipulation ban and warning those that don’t could face having a sticker placed on their products alerting consumers that the result shown is achieved through image enhancement.

The pharmacy giant has about 9,500 stores across the United States and recently purchased major insurance company Aetna to create a healthcare giant in the United States. CVS is notable for banning tobacco sales from its stores a few years ago, a move that was hailed as forward thinking.

Image via Kinkate from

CVS introduced the idea in an announcement from CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes at the National Retail Federation annual convention in New York City. Foulkes said body image issues are a “significant driver” for some women’s health issues, further acknowledging that the retail chain’s customer base is largely female.

“We’re all consuming massive amounts of media every day, and we’re not necessarily looking at imagery that is real and true…To try to hold ourselves up to be like those women is impossible because even those women don’t look like how they appear in those photographs.”

The photo manipulation ban will extend to all CVS-branded products, displays, advertising, and other related media and should take effect by April 2019.

Sellers will still be able to use digitally modified images, but a label identifying them as such will be affixed to their products.

One of CVS major revenue producers is cosmetics. CVS pressure on cosmetics manufacturers is already having the intended effect.

In a response to a request for comment from USA Today, Revlon North America President John Collier wrote in an email: “Revlon and all of the brands in our company’s portfolio support CVS' mission to present positive and authentic images of women that reflect their individual characteristics and personal distinction.”

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

To be clear any jpeg that has been submitted as an advertising image has already been “modified” from the orginal RAW file, it’s just that a lot of cameras, mobile or otherwise, are not able to show the RAW file format. So to say no images can be modified, is to say that only RAW files should be used, which, as anyone with processing knowledge, will know presents a “bland” image. You need to boost contrast, open shadows and tame highlights to make an image like “what you see” at the time the photo was taken.

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