A detox tea brand heavily promoted on Instagram has agreed to pay $1 million over allegations that influencers posting about their products made misleading health claims and failed to disclose they were paid.
The Federal Trade Commission alleges that Teami, a maker of detox tea and other wellness products, made “unsubstantiated claims” that its teas could cause weight loss, fight cancer, and prevent the flu. Teami went further to promote their detox tea on social media through a network of popular influencers, who published these misleading health claims alongside their Instagram posts, according to the FTC¸ Business Insider reported.
Detox teas and other quick-fix health products have long been popular choices for endorsements among influencers and celebrities.
According to Business Insider, the FTC has had a formal set of endorsement guidelines since 2017 that require influencers to disclose when posts are ads and when they’re getting paid for content. More recently, the FTC has been reviewing these guidelines to revamp them and incur harsher penalties for those found in violation.
This also isn’t the first time that Teami has heard from the FTC about its sponsored posts on Instagram. Back in April 2018, the FTC sent Teami a letter directing the company to ensure its Instagram posts were clearly marked as ads.