The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has ruled the use of beauty filters on sponsored instagram posts to be misleading (duh). The ruling came down after complaints were made about influencers not accurately representing the product’s capabilities.
Many skin care brands send product to instagram influencers in exchange for promotion on their popular accounts. It’s a tactic commonly known as influencer marketing, and companies shell out big numbers for it. Influencers like Kim K make between $300,000 to $500,000 per sponsored post. (Roll your eyes back a little further, won’t you?) Sometimes long term contracts are drafted worth millions – all in the name of influencer marketing.
In this particular case, the products in question were fake tans, and although the audience reach was lower, the ASA took action in deeming the ads to be unfair representations. As a non-influencer, it seems like a no-brainer to avoid using a camera filter on a beauty advertisement, but this is nothing new. Before instagram filters, there was photoshop (there still is), but the biggest difference between now and that 2000s ish era was that photo manipulation technology was not as accessible or easy to pick up on.
While many view the ruling as a positive intervention, others think it will create more problems, asking questions like what will stop influencers from just applying other products before recording their advertisements? It appears to be a difficult problem to police because the line of what is acceptable and what is not is a difficult one to draw. Read more about the ruling on the ASA website.