Date Posted: Thursday 4th February 2021
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled that beauty filters should not be applied to photos that promote beauty products "if such filters are likely to exaggerate the effect the product was capable of achieving." This ruling comes after the ASA was notified of two Instagram stories from Skinny Tan, posted in July 2020.
The photos featured on a story from influencer Elly Norris, which included an image of her face and shoulders with the captions "So impressed with how that went on, honestly no other fake tan I've ever put on, and the smell is just something else. Can't wait to see what it's like tomorrow morning [heart-eyes emoji]." The second story, reposted on the Skinny Tan Instagram account, had the caption "Haven't done my make up yet, but absolutely obsessed with the @skinnytanhq coconut serum I used last night. Smells amazing. Can't wait to get some proper pictures to show you guys!"
The complainant believed that the Instagram filter exaggerated the efficacy of the advertised product and challenged whether the ads were misleading. The BBC reported that the complaint originated from the #filterdrop campaign that called for it to be compulsory for influencers to state when they use a beauty filter to promote skincare or cosmetics. The use of filters on social media has been a widely debated issue from not only celebrities and social media influencers but also MPs.
The ASA responded: "We considered that the use of filters in ads was not inherently problematic, but that advertisers of cosmetic products needed to take particular care not to exaggerate or otherwise mislead consumers regarding the product advertised."
The ASA concluded in this case that the ads misleadingly exaggerated the results of the product and breached the CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading Advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).
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