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How To Advertise Without Making Claims

Making Disease Claims is "So 2020"

Let's all agree that making risky claims should be a thing of the past. The first step is breaking the mindset that in order to sell products risky or spurious claims must be made.

Here are some helpful hints on how to advertise in a compliant and effective manner.

Tell your company story

Sharing your company origin story without making claims is a great way to connect with customers. I prefer video as it deepens the connection. High-quality videos are good but an authentic video shot on a phone is fine too. I do however always suggest captioning videos as most videos watched online are viewed without sound. I use Rev for captioning which costs $1.25 a minute. I recently saw a video founder story where the owner was flyfishing while talking about why he started the company. This creates an authentic human connection and I instantly was interested in their products.

Cultivate Authentic Excitement

Do your customers and staff love your products? If so, sharing their authentic excitement with pictures is a great way to humanize your brand. Here in Colorado, we have four seasons of outdoor hiking, snowboarding, and camping photo opportunities. This is an example of a made-up compliant and authentic way to state CBD product is great for recovery.

Advertising should always be truthful and any material connection (e.g. free product) should be disclosed per FTC guidelines. An easy way to do this is by adding #Sponsored to a post. I suggest developing best practices for social media managers to follow as a well-intentioned employee can easily attract FDA/FTC enforcement attention. For example, a customer may tag a company in a photo that includes a claim such as inflammation. If your company retweets, reposts, likes, or comments on the post, this is considered substantiation of the claim and should be avoided. I review common mistakes in this blog post. Contact me for help in building these best practice documents.

Another type of campaign could include asking your customers to post a picture of themselves and why they love your products (without claims). Posts with the most likes receive a charitable donation in the customer's name. These double positive campaigns which include authentic viral growth and good cause philanthropy are some of my favorites.

What Sets The Company Apart?

Trade association membership with an organization like the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) shows a company cares about compliance and the long-term health of the industry.

Formulations with added safe nutraceuticals such as adaptogens and nervines can increase the formulation efficacy and differentiate it from other products on the market. We review this here. Use caution when discussing individual ingredients as this may be considered product marketing. Be careful with statements attached to your product description such as “Turmeric has a long use as an anti-inflammatory”. We review this and the 9th Circuit ruling on structure-function claims here.

Here are common mistakes when marketing supplements & hemp products.

Certifications such a B Corp, USDA organic, 3rd party GMP, and US Hemp Authority certification are good markers of culture, quality and differentiate the company from the crowd. I review tips on how to build a company culture of compliance here.

A company announcement of self-affirmed GRAS is a clear sign they are invested in their company for the long haul, as future FDA regulations will require a safety component. Learn more about NDIN's and GRAS here and how companies are proving safety here. Bluebird Botanicals in Colorado are doing lots of these important things. This is a sign of a mature company that will be around for many years to come. Congrats!

Social program engagement such as meals to front-line workers and social justice organizations is not a marketing strategy, it just makes us human. This is one of the many ways to do good work while staying true to the core principles of humanity. Here is a company Winged Wellness supporting the community while building brand loyalty. This is an example of the "new and conscious business" where having a positive community impact is written into the company's mission.

What Are Some Reasons to Avoid FDA/FTC Attention?

These include fines, scaring away investors, and class action lawsuits. We review this in my recent Operation CBDeceit blog post and in this video.

High-risk Marketing Strategies Are So 2020.

If you make great products, support the amazing customer experience, and create an authentic brand identity that connects with customers, your business will succeed.

For a free consultation regarding your compliant marketing needs contact me here. Don't forget to clean up those metatags!


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