Truth in advertising, please



Last week, another celebrity was called out for appearing in a "misleadingly exaggerated" advertisement after it was found, by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, to be excessively airbrushed. The L'Oreal magazine advertisement featured the Oscar-winning British actress Rachel Weisz, promoting the label's age-defying product line. It has since been banned by the ASA and joins a list of others. The picture shows the actress with perfect looking skin and an even tone, following excessive digital enhancement, which therefore "misrepresented the results that the product could achieve", according to the ASA.

The company was also forced to pull an advertisement featuring Julia Roberts last year, which the regulatory body also found to be too airbrushed.

Last December, a CoverGirl advertisement for its Natureluxe Mousse Mascara featuring the American songstress Taylor Swift also came under fire from the industry watchdog National Advertising Division (NAD). The ad claimed the product could provide twice the volume, but in small print admitted to digital enhancement.

The issue of Photoshopping is nothing new. However, what is interesting is authorities are taking a tougher stand and basically saying "enough". The fact they are studying advertisements with an even more watchful eye and calling out companies found to be misleading the public is a giant step forward in protecting consumers.

In the UK, government officials such as Jo Swinson have been campaigning since 2009 to stop the use of "unrealistic images".

According to the information provider IbisWorld, the hairdressing and beauty industry market in the UK brings in an average of £4 billion (Dh23bn) in revenue a year. In the US, revenue from the beauty industry brings in approximately $13bn (Dh47.7bn) annually. In the UAE, annual imports of beauty products are estimated to be just over Dh4bn, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Making beauty companies think twice before printing a heavily altered ad is a good move, however, celebrities themselves also have a responsibility in the way they allow themselves to be represented. Stars such as 45-year-old Brad Pitt did not shy away from that responsibility, opting for an unretouched 2009 cover for W magazine. In 2010, Jessica Simpson reportedly went sans make-up and airbrush-free for Marie Claire's cover.

Experts in the UAE say it is not just women who are cleverly made to believe the hype. An increasing number of men are also suffering from negative body image - with one in five men comparing their bodies to those of magazine models and celebrities.

Getting that picture-perfect look, based on an image that has been manipulated is what many obsess about. After all, who can't admit to buying two or three products because the advertising for them looked so good and believable?

What would be refreshing is to see a much wider variety of body sizes and skin tones that reflect the reality of what we see every day on the street, at work and in our own circle of friends.

Follow us on Twitter and keep up to date with the latest in arts and lifestyle news at twitter.com/LifeNationalUAE

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

 

 

 

Walls

Louis Tomlinson

3 out of 5 stars

(Syco Music/Arista Records)

ENGLAND SQUAD

Team: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Ben Te'o, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Maro Itoje, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Chris Robshaw, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements 16 Jamie George, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 George Kruis, 20 Sam Underhill, 21 Danny Care, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Jack Nowell

SPECS

Mini John Cooper Works Clubman and Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

Engine: two-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 306hp

Torque: 450Nm

Price: JCW Clubman, Dh220,500; JCW Countryman, Dh225,500

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Results

Women finals: 48kg - Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL) bt Distria Krasniqi (KOS); 52kg - Odette Guiffrida (ITA) bt Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS); 57kg - Nora Gjakova (KOS) bt Anastasiia Konkina (Rus)

Men’s finals: 60kg - Amiran Papinashvili (GEO) bt Francisco Garrigos (ESP); 66kg - Vazha Margvelashvili (Geo) bt Yerlan Serikzhanov (KAZ)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: SimpliFi

Started: August 2021

Founder: Ali Sattar

Based: UAE

Industry: Finance, technology

Investors: 4DX, Rally Cap, Raed, Global Founders, Sukna and individuals

Allardyce's management career

Clubs (10) - Limerick (1991-1992), Perston North End (1992), Blackpool (1994-1996), Notts County (1997-1999), Bolton Wanderers (1999-2007), Newcastle United (2007-2008), Blackburn Rovers (2008-2010), West Ham United (2011-2015), Sunderland (2016), Crystal Palace (2016-2017)

Countries (1) - England (2016)

The specs: 2018 Nissan Patrol Nismo

Price: base / as tested: Dh382,000

Engine: 5.6-litre V8

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 428hp @ 5,800rpm

Torque: 560Nm @ 3,600rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.7L / 100km

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Lewis Hamilton in 2018

Australia 2nd; Bahrain 3rd; China 4th; Azerbaijan 1st; Spain 1st; Monaco 3rd; Canada 5th; France 1st; Austria DNF; Britain 2nd; Germany 1st; Hungary 1st; Belgium 2nd; Italy 1st; Singapore 1st; Russia 1st; Japan 1st; United States 3rd; Mexico 4th

The National selections

6pm: Go Soldier Go
6.35pm: Man Of Promise
7.10pm: Withering
7.45pm: Mawj
8.20pm: Falling Shadow
8.55pm: Law Of Peace
9.30pm: Naval Power
10.05pm: The Attorney

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

DUBAI SEVENS 2018 DRAW

Gulf Men’s League
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes, Bahrain, Dubai Sports City Eagles
Pool B – Jebel Ali Dragons, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf Men’s Open
Pool A – Bahrain Firbolgs, Arabian Knights, Yalla Rugby, Muscat
Pool B – Amman Citadel, APB Dubai Sharks, Jebel Ali Dragons 2, Saudi Rugby
Pool C – Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2, Roberts Construction, Dubai Exiles 2
Pool D – Dubai Tigers, UAE Shaheen, Sharjah Wanderers, Amman Citadel 2

Gulf U19 Boys
Pool A – Deira International School, Dubai Hurricanes, British School Al Khubairat, Jumeirah English Speaking School B
Pool B – Dubai English Speaking College 2, Jumeirah College, Dubai College A, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2
Pool C – Bahrain Colts, Al Yasmina School, DESC, DC B
Pool D – Al Ain Amblers, Repton Royals, Dubai Exiles, Gems World Academy Dubai
Pool E – JESS A, Abu Dhabi Sharks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 1, EC

Gulf Women
Pool A – Kuwait Scorpions, Black Ruggers, Dubai Sports City Eagles, Dubai Hurricanes 2
Pool B – Emirates Firebirds, Sharjah Wanderers, RAK Rides, Beirut Aconites
Pool C – Dubai Hurricanes, Emirates Firebirds 2, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Transforma Panthers
Pool D – AUC Wolves, Dubai Hawks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf U19 Girls
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, BSAK, DESC, Al Maha
Pool B – Arabian Knights, Dubai Hurricanes, Al Ain Amblers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

BRAZIL SQUAD

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Man City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).