The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued warning letters to a pair of trade associations and at least a dozen influencers regarding improper social media posts. Notably, each letter also included the FTC’s notice of penalty offenses concerning misleading endorsements and indicated that the recipient could face civil penalties of up to $50,120 per violation for future failures to disclose unexpected material connections. According to the FTC press release …
“Federal Trade Commission staff have sent warning letters to two trade associations and 12 registered dieticians and other online health influencers warning them about the lack of adequate disclosures in their Instagram and TikTok posts promoting the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame or the consumption of sugar-containing products.
The letters to the trade groups, the American Beverage Association (AmeriBev) and The Canadian Sugar Institute, express concerns that the organizations may have violated the FTC Act by failing to adequately disclose that the influencers were apparently hired to promote the safety of aspartame or the consumption of sugar-containing products, respectively. This action follows FTC’s recent revision of the Commission’s Guides for Endorsements and Testimonials and is part of the agency’s continued monitoring of influencer marketing.
“It’s irresponsible for any trade group to hire influencers to tout its members’ products and fail to ensure that the influencers come clean about that relationship,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “That’s certainly true for health and safety claims about sugar and aspartame, especially when made by registered dieticians and others upon whom people rely for advice about what to eat and drink.”
To continue reading the full press release, click here.