The FTC Cracks Down on Misleading Social Media Posts

November 16, 2023

We’re disappointed to see this kind of influencer marketing.

Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, regarding the FTC’s decision to crack down on food industry trade groups and nutrition influencers whom the agency says failed to properly disclose advertisements.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): “The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices. The Commission also enforces federal antitrust laws …”

Why It Matters: On Wednesday, the FTC announced it has sent warning letters to two major food and beverage trade associations and a dozen nutrition influencers, regarding what the FTC describes as failure to adequately disclose who paid for the promotion of sugary foods or artificial sweetener in social media posts. The move reflects the FTC seeking “to set a new precedent for holding both influencers and industry accountable for social media marketing campaigns that fail to make clear who is funding them,” The Washington Post explains. Moving forward, the FTC expects companies and influencers to clearly communicate who pays for marketing in social media posts, and noted that future failure to properly disclose advertisements could result in “civil penalties of up to $50,120 per violation …”

Read More:

FTC cracks down on food industry for paid dietitian ‘influencer’ posts (The Washington Post)

FTC Warns Two Trade Associations and a Dozen Influencers About Social Media Posts Promoting Consumption of Aspartame or Sugar (Federal Trade Commission)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas