ASA announces that influencers can no longer use “misleading filters” to sell beauty products

Nowadays it is easier than ever to change the features of your face thanks to apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Having these tools at our fingertips is affecting people’s mental health and self-esteem.  

Influencers would be allowed to sell us beauty or cosmetic products with beauty filters applied to the photos or their stories – misleading their followers. However, that won’t be the case anymore with thanks to the new guidelines by the ASA.  

This new rule by the Advertising Standards Agency comes after the agency was notified about two stories posted by UK brand, Skinny Tan which was posted back in July 2020. The stories featured images of influencer Elly Norris, the caption read “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!”  

After the ASA investigated the product, they found that “because the filter effects were directly relevant to the intended purpose of the product, they did exaggerate the potential results, and the ads were therefore misleading.”  

The original complaint comes from the #filterdrop campaign that was set up by Sasha Pallari. The make-up artist started the campaign after she noticed a lot of brands were sharing photos and reposting stories of influencers that had used a beauty filter. Sasha encourages her followers to share photos of their unfiltered skin so everyone can start seeing “real skin” on social media.  

Speaking to the BBC, Sasha Pallari said: “I feel like the detrimental effect this is having on social media users has finally been taken seriously and this is a huge step in the right direction for how filters are used and the way cosmetics are advertised online.” 

By Nicola Scovell