Most companies don’t think twice about “liking” or “favoriting” what customers are saying when talking about their products or their brand. But it turns out the FDA is paying close attention and going after those companies who are liking or favoriting claims which are not proven.
The FDA has sent out at least two warning letters to companies who have liked claims that were made by customers on Facebook. In the US, dietary supplement companies are not permitted to market their products about its impact on any specific diseases without receiving FDA approval. Neither of the companies that have been warned did so. In 2012 AMARC Enterprises received a warning for liking customer’s claims while last month, the FDA warned Zarbees for doing the same.
It is not only company’s likes that were targeted but also their tweets and their retweets. The FDA has so far warned 11 companies about their tweets and retweets with unproven claims on Twitter.
However, while favorites are not specifically mentioned by the FDA, it is likely they will include those soon, especially as Twitter has made the favorite feature much more prominent in the updated look of Twitter profiles.
If you are a brand with any sort of pharma or supplement products, you will have to take care in what you are favoriting and liking, and making sure your social media team is fully aware of the implications of it. And it would be a good idea to go back and audit all past history, such as looking at all tweets favorited by the company account on Twitter as well as all the likes made on facebook and unfavoriting or unliking anything that could cause an issue with the FDA.
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