"FTC Cracks Down On Food Industry For Paid Dietitian ‘Influencer’ Posts"

"The agency said industry trade groups and nutrition influencers failed to adequately disclose who was behind paid advertising".

"Federal regulators announced warnings against two major food and beverage industry groups and a dozen nutrition influencers Wednesday, as part of a broad action to enforce stricter standards for how companies and social media creators disclose paid advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters Monday to the American Beverage Association, a lobbying group whose members include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as the Canadian Sugar Institute and the health influencers who collectively have over 6 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. The agency flagged nearly three dozen social media posts that it said failed to clearly disclose who was paying the influencers to promote artificial sweeteners or sugary foods.

The crackdown, which represents more aggressive enforcement of the FTC’s rules, signals that the agency seeks 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 action also could dramatically change the social media feeds of popular influencers who now often rely on vague hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored rather than clearly naming the brand or company paying them."

Caitlin Gilbert, Sasha Chavkin and Anahad O’Connor report for the Washington Post November 15, 2023.

Source: Washington Post, 11/17/2023