By: Austin Denson, Marketing Specialist
False or misleading marketing campaigns continue to plague consumers online. Earlier this month, the FDA and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) delivered a warning to manufacturers that are advertising nicotine-containing liquids “e-liquids” as kid-friendly food products. The statement mentioned below references one of the 17 letters that were issued to e-liquid manufacturers, sellers and retailers this month:
“FDA’s investigation of the website http://www.madhatterjuice.com revealed that it sells or distributes One Mad Hit Juice Box e-liquid with labeling and/or advertising that causes it to imitate a food or beverage, particularly one that is marketed toward, and/or appealing to, children. Specifically, the labeling and/or advertising of the product looks very similar to the labeling and/or advertising for juice boxes that are commonly marketed toward children.” The warning letters are aligned with the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan.
Figure 1: Misleadingly labeled e-liquid juice boxes
A 2014 investigation revealed a total of 466 brands/websites selling 7764 unique flavors of e-liquids used in e-cigarettes (and now food products). During the investigation there was a net increase of 10.5 brands and 242 flavors per month.
Figure 2: Misleadingly labeled e-liquid candy
E-Liquid Use Among Youth
An alarming number of children are using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to consume nicotine without burning tobacco. According to the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), over 1.6 million high school students and 500,000 middle school students acknowledged using e-cigarettes. That number has continued to climb with the introduction of new devices, flavors and products to the market.
Figure 3: Misleadingly labeled e-liquid food product
Merchants selling misleadingly labeled or advertised e-liquid products online, such as candies, juices, cookies, etc., may be at risk of regulatory scrutiny.
Pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and illegal drugs sold online continue to be an issue for the payments industry. Join G2 and the NABP for a webinar that will cover the following:
1. Update on trending pharma, nutra and illegal drugs in 2018
2. Recent case studies featuring hot pharma and illegal drugs
3. An overview of NABP and an introduction to the NABP pharmacy merchant verification services
4. Updates to card network rules requiring pharmacy merchant verification for CNP transactions