INFLUENCERS have been told not to add misleading filters to social media adverts by the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK.
The ASA has ruled that filters should not be used if they exaggerate the effect of a cosmetic or skincare item being sold.
This would mean makeup influencers couldn't use a filter that changes the shade or texture of a product they were advertising.
UK influencers, brands and celebrities will be expected to follow the new rules.
The ruling came in response to the #filterdrop campaign, which aims to make it compulsory for influencers to say whether they're using a filter when promoting beauty products.
Makeup artist and model Sasha Pallari started the campaign in July 2020 because she wanted to see more "real skin" being shown on Instagram.
A post shared by SASHA LOUISE PALLARI (@sashalouisepallari)
The 29-year-old from Weston-super-Mare in the UK told us: "I’m over the moon at the outcome and how seriously the ASA have taken the investigation over the last six months.
"I think anybody online has the right to do as they please and post what they like, however, profiting off an audience and altering the performance of a product via a filter/editing absolutely needed to be monitored.
"The pressure on Women to look a certain way is beyond unattainable and heightened online, so my blame has never been on the influencers feeling like they can’t post without filters, but something had to change within the platforms and via the brands accepting that content as suitable.
"There’s so many changes that need to happen online but this is definitely a huge step towards transparency for the beauty industry online."
She also wrote on Instagram: "On 22/01/2021 I received an email stating that “the outcome of the rulings chosen mean it is now advised that brands/influencers/celebrities are not to apply filters to photos which promote beauty products if such filters are likely to exaggerate the effect the product is capable of achieving, even if the name of the filter is referenced in the Instagram story.”
"Today those rulings have been put in place and it’s because of this campaign."
In order to come to its decision, the ASA looked into two Instagram adverts from influencers who were selling tanning products.
The adverts came in the form of two Instagram video stories for Skinny Tan and one story for Tanologist Tan.
The ASA ruled that the adverts for both tanning products were likely to mislead customers because the filters were distorting the true effect that the products can achieve.
UK influencers will still be able to use filters but if they're advertising cosmetics then they will need to choose a filter that doesn't distort or exaggerate the effect of a product.
People who break the rules will have their advert taken down and prohibited.
This may negatively impact an influencer's reputation.
An ASA spokesman was quoted by the BBC stating: "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.
"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."
We have reached out to Instagram for comment.
Instagram – the key facts
Here’s what you need to know…
- Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos
- It was created back in October 2010 as an iPhone-exclusive app
- A separate version for Android devices was released 18 months later
- The app rose to popularity thanks to its filters system, which lets you quickly edit your photos with cool effects
- When it first launched, users could only post square 1:1 ratio images, but that rule was changed in 2015
- In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock
- In 2018, some analysts believe the app is worth closer to $100billion
- In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
- And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
In other news, Twitch streamer Indiefoxx has been banned from the platform again over strict nudity rules.
Netflix is trialling a viewing timer feature that can pause an episode for you if you fall asleep.
And, Facebook will no longer recommend "political or civil" groups to users.
How often do you use filters? Let us know in the comments…
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