UK beauty influencers and brands banned from using filters to promote products

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that filters that exaggerate the effect of a product are 'misleading'

Sasha Pallari launched the #filterdrop campaign in July 2020 in a bid to normalise seeing real skin on Instagram. Instagram / Sasha Pallari
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Filters have become as commonplace on social media as avocado on toast or whimsical travel pictures, but a campaign in the UK means they will no longer be used in order to advertise beauty products.

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that influencers should avoid using any filters that enhance features or the effects of a product when advertising beauty brands, and if they do, it will now be compulsory to declare it.

The ruling follows a lengthy campaign on social media started in July 2020 by Sasha Pallari, who lives in the south west of England. The aim of the #filterdrop campaign was to normalise seeing real skin on Instagram.

The ASA analysed two posts shared by influencers to advertise tanning products where filters had been used.

It ruled that the stories for Skinny Tan Ltd and Tanologist Tan "misleadingly exaggerated the effect the product was capable of achieving".

The outcome of this ruling will now apply to all brands, influencers and celebrities when advertising products on social media in the UK.

Ads that break these rules will be taken down and banned from appearing again, the ASA said.

"An ongoing focus of our work in this area continues to be on raising awareness of the rules and supporting influencers with the guidance and tools they need to help get their ads right,” a spokesperson said.

"We're also working closely with the social media platforms who can and will enforce our rulings where an advertiser is unwilling or able to work with us."

Following the ruling, Pallari said she was “over the moon” at the outcome.

"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," she told the BBC.