BBB National Programs Archive

Posts by Celebrity Endorsers Revised to Disclose Material Connections to FitTea Following NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – Jan. 26, 2017 – Celebrity endorsements of FitTea, a dietary supplement made by Fit Tea LLC, have been revised to better disclose material connections, following an inquiry from  the National Advertising Division (NAD).

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

As part of its ongoing monitoring program and NAD reviewed advertising for the product that included endorsements posted to Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms from Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.

NAD questioned whether material connections between the endorsers and the product were adequately disclosed to consumers.

As NAD noted in its decision, when the author of a social media post expresses a personal opinion about how much he or she likes a product or how often he or she uses a product, consumers may not be able to determine whether the post is a paid endorsement or whether it is a spontaneous recommendation made without any payment or other compensation.

“Consumers are likely to weigh an opinion differently if it is a paid endorsement for a product.  As a result, such a payment is a connection that is material to consumers and should be disclosed,” NAD said.

In response to its inquiry, NAD was informed that media posts by celebrity endorsers had been revised to disclose material connections and that future advertising will follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) endorsement guidelines.

NAD noted its appreciation of the revisions.  In reliance on representations that social media posts have been modified, NAD did not review the matter on its merits.  However, the voluntarily modified advertising will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its modification and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.