CVS Pharmacy Fully Embraces Age of Transparency & Honesty

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Last month, CVS Pharmacy announced it would stop using altered images of models in its ads. The Reuters story headline was a little rough around the edges saying, “CVS vows to stop altering beauty images in its marketing." 

I don't know, I'm not a fan of the headline "vows to stop" but however you describe it, it's a great thing:

Starting in April, CVS Health Corp (CVS) said it will stop "materially" altering the beauty imagery in its marketing materials that appear in its stores and on its websites and social media channels.

CVS said it will launch the "CVS Beauty Mark, " a watermark that will appear on all imagery that hasn't been materially altered. The company will also identify any marketing materials in which a person's shape, size, proportions, eye color or wrinkles have been changed or enhanced with a "digitally modified" label. The labels apply to marketing materials in CVS stores and on its website, but not on product packaging.

CVS is also asking its big brand partners like Revlon, L'Oreal and Johnson & Johnson to join the effort. The goal, according to CVS, is for all images in the beauty sections of CVS's fleet of stores to reflect the "transparency" commitment by 2020, with 80% of its stores complete by 2019.

The company cites unrealistic body images being a significant driver of health issues as its main reason for this new effort, a noble cause for sure.

Whether intentional or not, CVS has embraced what we call around these parts the “Age of Honesty & Transparency.”

Social Media has opened the door to transparency. Those businesses, companies and teams who thrive and aren't afraid to show it on social media will succeed. Of those businesses, companies and teams who show it, the ones who do it authentically will succeed the most. 

In CVS' case, this is a brilliant move from a business and marketing standpoint, in addition to the personal benefits of fighting health issues that consciously or subconsciously stem from body imaging.

This is the same company that in 2014, was the first major retailer to get rid of all tobacco products in the interest of health and wellness … a market and trend-setting company for sure.

We won't mention that the store sells liquor but I would argue that a good glass of bourbon, tequila or whiskey is good for the immune system. How do you think humans survived flu season back in the 1840s, after all?

Anyway, kudos to CVS for its initiative and for knowingly or unknowingly embracing the current landscape of authenticity & transparency. 

Pat Imig is the owner of Imig Communications. Follow him and us on IG, @patimig & @imig.communications, respectively for more social media marketing insights, tips and trends.