May 20, 2019
The New York Times recently published an article reporting that certain plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists (collectively, the “Doctors”) may have violated Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) product endorsement and advertising regulations. In summary, the performance beauty company, Evolus, Inc. (“Evolus”), paid for Doctors to attend an “advisory board meeting” at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Mexico, where it introduced them to its new wrinkle-smoothing injection product, Jeuveau. While attending this “advisory board meeting,” the Doctors were entertained with free gifts, dance parties and fireworks. Many of the Doctors took to their social media accounts to share this extravagant experience with their followers. In the subject social media posts, the Doctors used the company’s hashtag #newtox, often without any disclosure as to their relationship with Evolus. Neither the FTC, nor the FDA, has yet to take action against the Doctors or Evolus.
How does the FTC and FDA regulate product endorsements?