Supplement Marketing: Watch Your Language!
Supplement Marketers should consider these legal tips when wording promotional materials or promotional social media posts because strict rules apply. If your language isn’t compliant with FDA or FTC standards, your company could be at risk for major fines.
Trade Show Marketing Materials
Thinking of taking your supplement company on the road to health and wellness trade shows? Sounds like a great way to market your products and an easy way to overlook FDA regulations. Most marketers focus on their exhibit booth size and convention floor placement rather than the rules that apply to exhibit booth content and product labeling. At marketing events like trade shows, the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (which is a part of the FDA), has been stricter on targeting and enforcing exhibit booth content. This means if you are planning on going to an event like a trade show, make sure you have all your bases covered.
If you are marketing you supplements at a trade show, consider these legal tips:
- Make sure to present ANY risk and safety information on booth panels
- Clearly label the ingredients especially those that commonly cause allergic reactions (peanuts, soy, etc.) and if you are giving out free samples
- Label and present the full indication for use (this includes limitations and must be based on accepted scientific evidence)
- Make sure to place all important disclosures prominently, somewhere highly visible, not to the side or the floor where someone might not be able to see it
- All phrasing in marketing materials/labeling must be based upon accepted scientific evidence
Here are some examples of phrases that the FDA may take issues with…
- “…lowers cholesterol levels…”
- “…lowers blood pressure in hypertensive adults…”
- “…reduces the risk of cancer in young adults…”
- “…clinically effective in treatment of acne…”
- “…protects against the risk of diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy…”
- “…slows the progression of prostate cancer…”
MAKE SURE THESE PHRASES CAN BE MEDICALLY/SCIENTIFICALLY SUBSTANTIATED
Your Supplements Via Social Media
With the speed and efficiency of uploading social posts via your smartphone, it’s not surprising that FTC regulations may be overlooked. However, as easy as it is for you to post a gorgeous photo of your products or the results they may yield, it’s even easier for the FTC to spot a compliance issue.
If you are marketing via social media, consider these legal tips:
- Make sure your post (both caption and photo) is truthful and not misleading
- Make sure every claim made about your product within the post can be adequately substantiated with evidence
- Do not use photos of celebrities or public figures without permission.
If you are paying a social media influencer or public figure to endorse or promote your products via social media, it’s crucial that the influencer includes hashtags that discloses that this post is paid for. Examples of the appropriate hashtags are #ad, #paidpromotion, #paidpartnership, or #partnerhsipwith[insert company name].