FTC sends warnings to Cardi B, other influencers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week took action against a skincare and tea company, and sent warning notices to almost a dozen Instagram influencers including singer Cardi B for not making clear when they posted paid ads for the group.

In a formal complaint filed on Thursday, the FTC alleged that Teami and its owners Adi Halevy and Yogev Malul claimed without scientific proof that their products could help with weight loss, fight cancer, treat colds and lead to other positive health benefits.

The FTC also took action against the company due to its failure to disclose that it was paying certain influencers to post ads on social media.

The FTC sent warnings to 10 of these influencers – including Cardi B, actress Adrienne Bailon and singer Jordin Sparks – alleging that their paid posts for Teami were “deceptive.”

“Social media is full of people peddling so-called detox teas, promising weight loss,” Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Companies need to back up health claims with credible science and ensure influencers prominently disclose that they’re getting paid to promote a product.”

While the agency did not bring formal charges against Cardi B and other influencers, the FTC requested they provide the agency with a list by March 30 of actions they intend to take to ensure paid ads are obvious to social media followers. The agency threatened “legal enforcement action” in the future if their behavior did not change.