Published: 20 February 2023  (Updated: 20 February 2023)

ASA Ruling on Social Media Advert

Upheld ruling on tanning product.

On 15 February 2023, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a ruling against a social media advertisement for a tanning product that was not obviously identifiable as marketing communication and that used video filters which exaggerated the efficacy of the products.

The CAP Code states that marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such and that the commercial intent must be clear.  The advert did not make it immediately clear to viewers that person posting was promoting their own commercial venture.  The content was not labelled to indicate to viewers that the posts were marketing communications and therefore breached the Code.

The use of video filters in adverts is not considered inherently problematic by the ASA, however, advertisers of cosmetic products must not exaggerate or otherwise mislead consumers regarding the effects of the product advertised.  The video filters in question were used to enhance a tanning and smoothing effect, and therefore the ASA considered the effect directly relevant to the claimed performance of the product which gave a misleading impression about the performance capabilities of the product.

The adverts must not appear again in the form raised in this case.


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