Following enforcement trends are important for anyone selling products. This is especially true for those new to dietary supplement marketing and those who use higher risk language in promoting their products. They show us what the guardrails of compliance are and how to adjust our messaging to avoid a warning letter or worse. Every warning letter helps companies fine-tune their marketing message. For example, claims made on Amazon, Etsy, LinkedIn, or podcasts are now being scrutinized. This includes affiliate marketers who receive benefits from referring to other websites for product purchases. I review examples of what not to do here and tips on how to market compliantly here.
What is a lower risk today may be a higher risk tomorrow
One example is using a hangover support statement which would have been a relatively low risk in the past, but in July 2020 the FDA issued seven warning letters to companies making hangover claims. In the accompanying press release Steven Tave, director of FDA’s Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, stated that “Consumers may get the false impression that using these products can prevent or mitigate health problems caused by excessive drinking. Dietary supplements are not a substitute for responsibly limiting one’s alcohol consumption.”
This rationale of the FDA’s thinking should be considered when advertising product benefits, as anything which implies a consumer should not take preventative action is high risk. One extreme example is products marketed for COVID symptomatic care which may infer its a replacement for hand washing and social distancing. Again, anything the FDA/FTC sees as hindering public safety through product promotion is high risk. Here are examples of common mistakes and tips on how to market products.
Importance of Developing In-House Expertise
The importance of developing in-house expertise has never been more important. I recommend developing at least one in-house regulatory expert or having an on-call consultant who can keep your company up-to-date on pressing issues that affect your company.
There are numerous resources for those looking to learn
This is one important reason for staying up-to-date on enforcement trends. Since reading every warning letter and lawsuit is a time-consuming process, I suggest finding a source to follow like attorney Nathalie Bougenois, journalist Josh Long, FDA/FTC press releases, and regulatory blogs.
AHPA has lots of great free resources
cGMP Basics for Hemp CBD Companies Webinar
Preparing for FDA Inspections Webinar
Hemp Collective Podcast
Marketing claims videos
Ask Me your questions
Other webinars and resources on my site
For a free consultation regarding your compliant marketing needs contact me here.
Disclaimer: The educational information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Contact an attorney for specific legal advice.