New Service to Monitor Social Media Claims

<p>A new service offered by Ingredient Identity will screen client-designated social media sites for off-label, high-risk or disallowed product claims in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.</p>

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.—A new service offered by Ingredient Identity will screen client-designated social media sites for off-label, high-risk or disallowed product claims in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.  

Social media monitoring can help prevent or mitigate non-compliant marketing activities by a given company within the dietary supplement industry, regardless of source or intention. Ingredient Identity developed the proprietary system to monitor and report on high-risk and unacceptable claims, statements and related copy.

Within the dietary supplement industry, FDA considers the content of websites and other online assets owned by a company “labeling." This also includes content posted on behalf of a company marketing or selling dietary supplements (including social media sites). The claims presented, even those by customers or random people, fall under the regulatory responsibility of the product owner and/or co-owners for compliance with the regulations of 21CFR Part 101. These standards hold true whether or not an individual making any comment inclusive of certain claims is actually affiliated with the business owner or not. There is substantial regulatory risk, not to mention legal risk, for companies regarding all content of their marketing, labeling or other promotions via social media channels inclusive of web coding and customer testimonials on company assets in the public domain.

“In recent years, there have been numerous FDA observation’s and warning letters issued to companies and individuals promoting their products on various social media sites that either create or allow for the creation of statements/claims that are clear GMP (good manufacturing practice) violations," said Brandon Griffin, CEO of Ingredient Identity. “The number is only going to increase as the FTC and FDA continue to step up their enforcement. There is noticeable concern and awareness growing in the marketplace, but no company or sole proprietorship is too small to get a warning letter or caught up in a lawsuit for allowing prohibited claims."

The new system is designed to screen customer specified social media resources in the public domain against existing regulations using a custom digital parsing technology combined with the expertise of Ingredient Identity’s team of regulatory specialists. Notifications for any identified non-compliant text or high-risk copy, in any format, is diligently summarized and categorized for the client to easily review and resolve in order to control for and mitigate unplanned regulatory or legal actions.

“For multi-level marketing (MLM) and direct response companies, our social media monitoring service is a very powerful tool, even with increased complexity owing to independent representatives or affiliates," Griffin said. “Steps can still be taken to help mitigate any non-compliant marketing in the public domain. The core value proposition of this service is to provide our clients with real-time peace of mind and assurance over all their social media activities."

For information on social media as a sales and marketing tool, download the free INSIDER article “Social Media: Content and Accessibility."

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