COVID-19 Claims Can Get Your Brand into Hot Water with the FTC

April 27, 2020

By Courtney A. H. Thompson and Jacob M. Abdo

Coronavirus warning signThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cautioning brands not to make claims that their products can treat, prevent or cure COVID-19. Under U.S. law, a brand cannot advertise that its products prevent, treat or cure human disease unless the brand possesses competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating that the claim is true.

The FTC has taken the position that, at this time, no study or evidence is known to exist regarding COVID-19 that would substantiate claims made by brands representing a wide variety of products, including nutritional supplements, intravenous therapies, ozone therapies and purported stem cell treatments.

The FTC is sending warning letters to brands making unsubstantiated COVID-19 claims. A brand that receives a warning letter must, within 48 hours, contact the FTC and describe the specific actions it has taken to address the agency’s concerns. Failure to comply may result in a court injunction and/or an order requiring the brand to refund its consumers.

For more information, contact a member of the Advertising, Marketing & Trademark Group.

Fredrikson & Byron COVID-19 Resource Center