Influencers are banned from using photo filters on beauty products

Instagram influencers are banned from using photo filters to boost look of beauty products in adverts after two users were caught using tool to make their fake tans appear even DARKER

  • Elly Norris and Cinzia Baylis-Zullo accused of using manipulating filters  
  • ASA has banned the two brands involved from using the tactic in advertising 
  • Make-up expert Sasha Louise Pallari launched the campaign #filterdrop 

Faked images used by Instagram influencers to promote beauty products to hundreds of thousands of followers have been banned.

Elly Norris and Cinzia Baylis-Zullo posted images of themselves using tanning products designed to deliver perfectly toned skin.

However, campaigners said the images were manipulated using filters to change the appearance of their skin, so risking fooling followers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now banned the two brands involved, Skinny Tan and Tanologist Tan, from using the tactic.

It acted following complaints from make-up expert, Sasha Louise Pallari, who launched the campaign #filterdrop, which encourages Instagram users to post pictures of themselves without any editing to produce real and natural images.


Elly Norris (left) and Cinzia Baylis-Zullo (right) posted images of themselves using tanning products designed to deliver perfectly toned skin

She welcomed the decision, saying: ‘I’m over the moon at the outcome and how seriously the ASA have taken the investigation.

‘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 or editing absolutely needs to be monitored.’

She said the use of filters and picture editing is putting pressure on women to match an image that is unattainable.

‘This is definitely a huge step towards transparency for the beauty industry online,’ she said.

However, campaigners said the images were manipulated using filters to change the appearance of their skin, so risking fooling followers. Pictured: Cinzia Baylis-Zulio

The move by the ASA has put other brands, influencers and celebrities on notice that they must not apply filters to photos which promote beauty products if they are likely to exaggerate the effects.

The Skinny Tan Instagram account featured a story from influencer Elly Norris, which included an image of her face and shoulders with the text caption: ‘So impressed with how that went on, honestly like no other fake tan I’ve ever put on, and the smell is just something else.’

A second was similar and carried the text: ‘Haven’t done my make up yet, but absolutely obsessed with the @skinnytanhq coconut serum I used last night..’

It subsequently emerged that the images had been manipulated with the filter ‘Perfect Tan’ by Bianca Petry to give a darker skin tone.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now banned the two brands involved, Skinny Tan and Tanologist Tan, from using the tactic. Pictured: Elly Norris 

The ASA said: ‘The ads must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Skinny Tan and Ms Norris 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.’

An Instagram story by influencer Cinzia Baylis-Zullo, promoting Tanologist Tan from a company called We Are Luxe, included a video which was also manipulated using a filter.

In this case the filter, called ‘Yourbeauty by giorgiopivaa’, resulted in a slightly darker skin tone, with added freckles, and smoother complexion.

These ad were also banned by the ASA, which issued the same warnings about using filters to exaggerate the effects of beauty products.

It acted following complaints from make-up expert, Sasha Louise Pallari (pictured), who launched the campaign #filterdrop, which encourages Instagram users to post pictures of themselves without any editing to produce real and natural images

Skinny Tan was made famous after it won backing from investors following an appearance on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den series. The firm said it did not endorse or encourage the use of filters to exaggerate efficacy and aimed to portray their products in an authentic way.

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

We Are Luxe Ltd said its video was a demonstration of how to apply the product and the use of filter was irrelevant. They said the ad had been removed and would not be used again.

Ms Zullo said the only significant change as a result of using the filter was to add freckles and therefore the video was not misleading. 

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