Earlier this year, actress Charlotte Dawson uploaded a series of posts to Instagram, advertising a BPerfect Cosmetics make-up pallet. Complainants challenged whether the posts were clearly identifiable as advertisements and whether the effectiveness of the product advertised had been unduly exaggerated by the use of an Instagram filter overlaying the posts. Following its investigation, the ASA found the posts to be misleading on both counts. Although “#ad” had been used in respect of one of the posts, it ought to have been more obvious and it ought to have been included on all of the posts individually. The use of the Instagram “beauty” filter also had the potential to misrepresent the results of the product advertised because its effect was to enhance appearance and in particular, to create the impression of a bronzed, smooth complexion. As such, the effect of the filter was to achieve the results which the product claimed to achieve.

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