CVS Health CMO Norman De Greve: Why We Banned The Photoshopping Of Models

Yitzi Weiner
Aug 10, 2018 · 3 min read

“This is a health issue. As a purpose-led, customer-led company, we saw an opportunity to use our nearly 8,000 stores and presence in communities all around the country to inspire change. “

I had the pleasure of interviewing Norman de Greve. Norman is the Chief Marketing Officer for CVS Health. Among other initiatives, he led the recent commitment by CVS Pharmacy to no longer materially alter the beauty imagery the retailer creates for its stores and other marketing channels — as well as to work with their national beauty brand partners to ensure they are reflecting transparency about alteration of imagery by 2020.

Hi Norman. You led the recent commitment by CVS Pharmacy to no longer Photoshop the beauty imagery you create for its stores and other marketing channels. What inspired you to create this great initiative?

We are a healthcare company with beauty inside — and this is a health issue. As a purpose-led, customer-led company, we saw an opportunity to use our nearly 8,000 stores and presence in communities all around the country to inspire change.

We are one of the largest beauty retailers in the country and we’ve seen that beauty customers are shifting more and more towards indie-brands with a strong social presence. They are connecting with these brands because they are seeing more authenticity and “real” people using the products.

Those insights plus our history of making purpose-led decisions, like stopping the sale of tobacco in 2014, inspired us to use that same lens with the health of all women in mind.

What bigger message is CVS looking send to the beauty industry as a whole?

This commitment addresses a health issue — and we hope it inspires others — inside and outside of the beauty industry — to think about the messages they are sending to women.

We are hopeful that this effort will encourage authenticity and transparency so that beauty is something that always makes women feel good, and never not good enough.

Where you hope to see the beauty industry in the future?

Beauty can be and should be aspirational but we believe that can still be achieved without materially altering how a person, a model or a celebrity looks. At its core, we see this as an opportunity to help women and girls have a more positive self-image by promoting beauty imagery that is more realistic and that embraces diversity and individuality. This effort will help us work towards a broader “standard” of beauty. In five to ten years, I hope that that this will continue to evolve and become the new normal.

Thank you so much for your time and your insights, Norman!

Supermodel, author and body activist Ashley Graham, CVS Health CMO Norman de Greve, makeup artist Daniel Martin, Endeavor Global Marketing EVP Seth Matlins, and activist Noor Tagouri join Joy Reid, host of AM Joy on MSNBC, for a panel discussion on the changes we’re seeing in the beauty industry today.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store