More Marketing Lessons From COVID Letter
Claims in hashtags, videos, and testimonials should be avoided
More overt COVID claims are cited in this warning letter. We all know that making COVID claims about supplements is wrong, but let's explore key learning lessons you can apply to your marketing.
🔹This warning letter cites claims made in YouTube videos, and I expect more to come. In this letter, FDA builds the "commercial bridge" from the YouTube page to where customers can order products. It probably wouldn't have been mentioned if this was truly an educational page with no shopping cart links.
👉From warning letter. "where you direct consumers to your websites …. respectively, to purchase your products.
🔹COVID hashtags are cited in this warning letter. Noncompliant hashtags are the quickest way to turn a compliant post into a disease claim.
🔹Testimonials are also mentioned in this letter. I'm always interested to learn what the authorities consider a third-party review and what they consider a marketing claim. In this letter, the reviews were on their own "Testimonials" page and were showcased, which is a clear marketing claim in the eyes of the agency.
🔹Asa rant: Most of the claims cited in the warning letter have been removed, but there are still A LOT of COVID claims on their product's website and socials. This is a small, publicly traded corporation, and I am surprised by its audacity. Is the next step an injunction? I do not know much about the agency's inner workings, but it seems this would have been a good joint FDA/FTC warning letter. FTC has more "teeth" and can require companies to stop making unsupported claims or face civil penalties of up to $46,517 per violation and requirements to refund customers.
Also, this warning letter was issued last November but was just posted yesterday, and I find the timeline perplexing. 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.