A SOMERSET woman who is calling for influencers to state they are using a filter to promote beauty products said she is ‘over the moon’ after an advertising watchdog ruled that they should not be used if they ‘exaggerate’ the effects of a product.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) made the ruling after two social media influencers were ordered to remove filtered Instagram posts showing “misleadingly exaggerated” depictions of tanning products by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The advertising watchdog was responding to Sasha Pallari’s #filterdropcampaign which called for it to be compulsory for influencers to state that they are using a beauty filter to promote skincare or beauty products.

The complaints related to two posts in July 2020, one by Ms Zullo promoting We Are Luxe Ltd t/a Tanologist Tan, and one by Ms Norris promoting Skinny Tan.

The ASA said filtered beauty content could be ‘misleading’.

Ms Pallari, a make-up artist and model who started the #filterdropcampaign last year and lives in Weston-super-Mare, told the BBC: “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.”

Ms Pallari told the BBC it was an issue she had been passionate about for a long time and she received messages “every day” from women struggling to match the beauty standards in real life that they see online.

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

The ASA said that the use of filters in adverts 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 advertising watchdog said the in-app beauty filters used by Cinzia Baylis-Zullo and Elly Norris mislead consumers “regarding the effect the product was capable of achieving”.

Ms Zullo has 356,000 followers on Instagram, and Ms Norris has 23,000.

We Are Luxe Ltd said Ms Zullo’s video was a demonstration of how to apply the product and she had not described its efficacy.

Ms Zullo said that the filter used in the post changed her appearance by adding freckles, but that the video was intended to explain how to use the product rather than to demonstrate how it looked.

Skinny Tan said that Ms Norris had created the photos and text in her Instagram posts and they had reposted them because she had been complimentary about the product – but they had not paid her.

Ms Norris said she was not aware of the implications of filter use and her intention was not to mislead.

She said she had applied an Instagram in-app filter called “Perfect Tan” by Bianca Petry to her photos.

The ASA said that customers would expect to see results from the products featured similar to those of both women and the posts were therefore misleading.

It ordered that the adverts must not appear in the form complained about.

The ASA told Skinny Tan and Ms Norris, and We Are Luxe Ltd and Ms Zullo, not to apply beauty filters to photos which promoted beauty products if such filters were likely to exaggerate the effect the product was capable of achieving.