FTC Reminds Advertisers Large And Small: Substantiate Health Claims Or Face Civil Penalties
Agency sends flares across wide field of advertisers illuminating the need for marketers to substantiate health claims. Reminder made brighter noting penalties of up to $50,120 per violation.
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The US Federal Trade Commission is "fully prepared" to bring forward cases after issuing hundreds of penalty offense notices in April regarding health claims substantiation, and it is likely to seek injunctive and monetary relief, said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, at the National Advertising Division’s annual conference in Philadelphia.
‘Akin To Junk Mail,’ FTC Notices Of Penalty Offense Don't Identify Health Claim Violations – Petition
Trade group ask FTC to withdraw notices, arguing it is attempting to impose substantiation standard prohibited under FDA regulations for supplement manufacturing and marketing and are inconsistent with its own as well as FDA guidance
John Villafranco, partner at Kelly Drye & Warren LLP, says the US FTC’s ability to obtain monetary relief using the penalty offense mechanism is questionable both on statutory and Constitutional grounds. Marketers faced with civil penalties – for example, for alleged inadequately substantiated health claims – should stand their ground, he suggests in a recent interview.