6-Year-Old Social Media Posts & Hashtags in Warning Letter

Uncompliant hashtags attract FDA attention

6-Year-Old Social Media Posts & Hashtags in Warning Letter

Today's #WarningLetterWednesday reminds us that the FDA considers old social media posts and hashtags marketing claims. 


Six-year-old social media posts, uncompliant hashtags, and product tags are mentioned in this warning letter. 


We have spoken about the importance of cleaning old non-compliant social media posts many times. Today's WLW is another reminder. Here is a post and video about this from a few months back.  


From FDA warning letter On your June 2, (Facebook) 2016 post: “Phenibut is known as a GABA analogue. Outside the US many countries around the world use phenibut clinically for symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression and insomnia.” 


Hashtags on a social media page that link to a product shopping cart are considered marketing claims. It is important to remember the “linking to a shopping cart” portion is the material connection that turns a general statement into a marketing statement.


Here is a “Hashtags Are Claims” video you may enjoy. 


From FDA warning letter On your February 27, 2017(Instagram) post: “#anxietyrelief” Here is a post and video about identifying and replacing high-risk “buzzwords.” This is the first step in making online marketing compliant. 


Interestingly, product tags are mentioned in this letter. Product tags, like metatags, are not likely to attract warning letters on their own. They do, however, signal intended use to the FDA/FTC, showing the authorities. From FDA warning letter “Tags: anxiety, . . natural depression remedy” “Medical studies indicate that L-theanine is neuroprotective and can improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and cognitive impairment. . . . 


Here is a WLW post from July 2021 where metatags are mentioned.


Read the full warning letter here. 

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