Education vs Marketing Discussion
Small business learning lessons
Today's post highlights common mistakes made by a small herbal company. Looking at their mistakes can help show others what not to do. I am not picking on this company as they likely didn't know the rules of supplement marketing. One of the reasons I write Warning Letter Wednesday is to educate companies on the dos and don'ts of marketing. Please share to help get this knowledge to those who need it.
Copying information for herbal texts can lead to trouble. Education is ok, but it crosses the line into marketing when used to sell products. This reference was likely copied from a book onto the company's website. I also see companies making this mistake when copying information from clinical studies to commercial websites or socials. The lesson here is that any statement used to sell products should be compliant. The "Asa rule" is that you shouldn't use it in secondary marketing pieces if you wouldn't put it on the label.
👉From warning letter. "Antispasmodic Tincture • To be used in cases of epilepsy, convulsions, lockjaw, delirium, tremors, fainting, cramps, hysteria, suspended animation, etc."
Claims about "colds and flu" are high risk. This is obvious, but it is worth repeating. This phrase is in one of my "top 50" that comes preloaded in my Apex Compliance program.
👉From warning letter. "Echinacea's cold and flu fighting and healing ability alone has made it the #1 immune herb…"
Product names are also cited as disease statements in this warning letter. Normally FDA does not normally reference product claims unless they are over the top.
👉From warning letter. "Insomnia Formula• Product name: The product name implies that the product is intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent insomnia."
Read the full warning letter here.
Disclaimer: The educational information provided here is for informational purposes only. Contact an attorney for specific legal advice. Rule #1 in compliance is to ensure marketing is truthful and not misleading.