Dove Vs. The Retoucher: Company At Standoff Allegations Of "Real Beauty" Airbrushing

05/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It was a few lines in a 6,000-word article, but it threw Unilever and its advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, into a tizzy of denials, explanations and spin control.

Whether or not the truth is finally known, the question remains whether the revelation that some of the Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" ads may have been retouched will go down as a footnote in advertising history or rate among its biggest scandals, alongside Campbell's marbles in the soup.

As with many controversies, it began innocently enough, with a comment buried deep in a profile of Pascal Dangin, a prominent photo retoucher, in a May 12 New Yorker story penned by Lauren Collins.

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