Published: 12 February 2021  (Updated: 12 February 2021)

Claims Focus – ASA Ruling on Misleading Visual Claims

On 3 February 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issued and upheld a ruling on misleading claims, where the visual effect of a fake tan product was exaggerated using Instagram filters.  Furthermore, the brand sent the product to the influencer for free and then re-posted the influencer’s ad on their own brand social media.

The ASA stated in the ruling that the use of filters in ads is not inherently problematic, but of course they should not exaggerate the effect of a product.  Cosmetic claims are not limited to words, but also include images, symbols and anything that can visually portray the effect of a product.  Exaggerating the performance of a product with post-production techniques or the nowadays used filters, can not only be misleading to the consumer but also go against the Honest criterion of the Common Criteria for Cosmetic Claims Regulation. 

Companies are reminded that all cosmetic claims must comply with Article 20 of the EU and UK Cosmetics Regulations and the Common Criteria Regulation, which also still applies in the UK.  Companies can find all advice on cosmetic claims in the CTPA Guide to Advertising Claims.

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