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Dixie Damelio
via Instagram (@dixiedamelio), Filter Sophie Katirai

Influencers must now declare ‘misleading’ beauty filters on sponsored posts

A new ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority states that influencers need to disclose when they use face filters to promote UK beauty products

Ever since face filters burst onto our Instagram feeds in early 2019, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by without seeing a selfie with glossy skin or exaggerated and chiselled features. Now, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that influencers need to state when they use a beauty filter to promote skincare or cosmetics in the UK.

The ruling is a response to the #filterdrop campaign, started by Sasha Pallari in July 2020, with the hope of seeing “more real skin” on Instagram.

The ASA examined two Instagram stories shared by influencers advertising tanning products, and ruled that both ads were likely to have “misleadingly exaggerated the effect the product was capable of achieving”.

According to the ASA, filtered beauty content could still be misleading, even if the name of the filter is referenced in the Instagram story.

Ads that break these rules will be taken down and prohibited from appearing again. “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,” said an ASA spokesperson.

“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.”

Speaking to the BBC, 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.”

“I can now help make a difference to how these women view themselves in the mirror and that's amazing,” she concluded.