PICTURE IMPERFECT: Could British magazines’ glossy images of airbrushed models and celebrities carry a health warning in the future? Following the British Fashion Council’s Model Health Inquiry last December, which questioned the part airbrushed images play in perpetuating an “unachievable aesthetic,” digitally enhanced images — in other words, airbrushing — are set for some closer inspection. The U.K.’s Periodical Publishers Association said Tuesday it will set up a working group with the BFC and London magazine editors to discuss the use of digital enhancements in fashion photography. “As this is a complex issue and there is no predetermined consensus across the industry, PPA is currently canvasing views,” the association said. No date has been set for a meeting, said a spokesman.
In December, the BFC said it wrote to the PPA, the British Society of Magazine Editors and the Advertising Association in the U.K. to suggest what the BFC calls “a voluntary code covering the use of digital manipulation [in photography].” A BFC spokeswoman said Tuesday that no guidelines had been drawn up governing the magazines’ use of airbrushing. She suggested that rather than limiting magazines’ use of digital manipulation, publications could instead be asked to declare if an image had been altered. — Samantha Conti
HEAD WEST, YOUNG BLOGGER: The New York shopping blog Racked covers shopping much in the way its brother blogs Curbed and Eater cover real estate and restaurants — with terse, insider-y tidbits that alternate service (for example, sales at boutiques), hyperlocal news and gossip. Now Racked is about to follow its brethren out to the West Coast with the launch today of Racked LA, which will be edited by Tasha Nita Adams, already a neighborhood blogger and a past print freelancer. Ben Leventhal, editorial director of the Curbed Network, said he could not break out individual blog traffic, but said Racked’s New York site has grown 53 percent since the beginning of 2008, and 850 percent since its launch a year ago. Across the network, which covers eight blogs (including the currently dormant summer blog The Beach), Leventhal said traffic was up 115 percent since March 2007, to about 5 million page views. Much of the advertising is networkwide, too, and even if Racked itself does not appear to be, well, racking up the ads, Leventhal said a big campaign from Gap is forthcoming, and the television show “Lipstick Jungle”