The agency requested information from four ENDS brands and their use of “influencers” on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent letters asking four companies for information about the use of social media marketing and influencer marketing in connection with their electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) brands: Aspire, Joyetech, Vaporesso, and Voopoo.
When selecting Aspire, Joyetech, Vaporesso and Voopoo from more than 40 leading ENDS brands, the FDA said it used a systematic process to assess their presence, reach and activity on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and to determine whether they use age restriction tools for these platforms.
The FDA said its research shows that most of the leading ENDS brands use multiple social media platforms to market their products and not use age-restriction tools to prevent teenagers from being exposed to their marketing.
The agency said research shows that teens are engaging in ENDS marketing on social media by following and sharing brand messages. Additionally, multiple sources report that e-cigarette companies market through brand ambassadors and “influencers” – people with large social media followers who can be compensated for promoting products.
Once the FDA has received the requested information, the agency will use this information to assess how these companies have used social media and worked with influencers to market their products and find out who is exposed to the companies’ social media marketing.
The FDA announced that it will use the information to evaluate marketing plans in PMTA reviews, conduct social media surveillance and oversight of social media and influencer marketing, and strategies for reducing teenage exposure to tobacco product digital marketing to consider.
Companies have 60 days to reply to the agency. Failure to provide the information is a violation of the law and is subject to FDA regulatory and enforcement measures.