The Federal Trade Commission says tea company Teami misled consumers with their products, and as a result, Cardi B has received a warning. A number of social media influencers, the "Money" rapper among them, have been criticized for sharing sponsored content on Instagram without disclosing they were paid for.
Teami is a company that produces "detox tea," and it claims its products help with weight loss or even treat diseases. The FTC has ordered the company to stop with the misleading advertisements and will have to return $1,000,000 to "consumers who were harmed." To further advertise their products, influencers were paid to share videos of Teami, but in doing so they violated the FTC's Endorsement Guides because you cannot be paid to advertise a product without stating as such.
"Today, there are more than 1 million Instagram posts that bear hashtags associated with detox teas on Instagram," legal director of Truth in Advertising Laura Smith said, per BuzzFeed News. "This means that on any given day, a countless number of young consumers are exposed to this egregious and widespread deceptive marketing issue."
Other influencers that received warning letters include Jordin Sparks, Adrienne Bailon, Alexa PenaVega, and Brittany Renner, among others. Teami has previously paid Kylie Jenner and Demi Lovato to advertise their products, but they did not receive letters. Andrew Smith, director of consumer protection at the FTC, said that these posts only disclosed they were advertisements when users clicked on the caption under the content.