Take a close look at the Vicks advertisement above featuring New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. Notice anything different? No, it's not that Brees actually appears to be awake when preparing to play, unlike last week's game against the Broncos. You'll notice that the ad designer has flipped Brees' image so that he now has a birthmark on both cheeks. (For the record, the image on the left is the correct one. And, as always, thanks to Twitter for this one.)
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Photo manipulation is a checkered art, but in most cases it's used to prove a political or social point, as you can see in this Washington Post online gallery. Journalistically, it's ethically suspect, if not indefensible, but when it comes to advertising, well, all bets are off. We should probably be thankful that nobody has turned the birthmark into a wacky, fast-talking character of its own.
Strangely, this isn't the first time Brees' birthmark has made "news." A couple years back, Brees paid a visit to "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and Ms. Winfrey made an unfortunate mistake:
Granted, Brees' floating birthmark is not earthshattering news. We understand that. I mean, it's not like photo manipulation is something truly terrifying, like SHARKS LEAPING AT HELICOPTERS:
(Obviously, that picture is altered. The soldier was actually several more rungs up the ladder and in much less danger.)
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.
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