L'Oreal denies 'whitening' Beyonce Knowles in new ad

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London, Aug 9 : Cosmetics giant L'Oreal has denied lightening singer Beyonce Knowles' skin tone in their new advertisement.

The company came under fire when a picture of the stunner was published in Elle magazine - showing her complexion lighter and reddish-blonde hair.

It has been reported that various newspapers have slammed the promotional picture for Feria hair colour.

After the metamorphosis was highlighted on a celebrity website, the company issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

"Beyonce Knowles has been a spokesperson for the L'Oreal Paris brand since 2001. It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Ms Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair colour," The Guardian quoted the company, as stating.

A representative for the singer said that although she might look different, there was little doubt that the woman in the glossy advertisement was his client.

"There is no doubt that anyone seeing that ad will know that it is Beyonce," said Hollywood publicist Alan Nierob.

But Eric Deggans, the chairman of the media monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists, told the New York Post that in the picture Beyonce's "skin is lighter than the way I'm used to seeing her".

"Advertisers and magazines need to be careful about this, even if it's just a production process," he said.

Whether the changes in Beyonce's appearance constitute a breach of contract remains to be seen.

The deal first signed between the singer and the cosmetics company in 2001 was initially worth 4.7m dollars over five years.

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