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The FTC warns influencers to disclose when they’re paid to be sweet on aspartame

A picture of aspartame tablets in a wooden spoon and a container laying on its side with sugar spilled around it.
It’s fine to say aspartame is safe — but not to obscure that you’re being paid to do it. | Photo by Long Wei/VCG via Getty Images

The first rule of sponsored content: You have to tell people it was paid for.

Today, the Federal Trade Commission publicly admonished over a dozen health influencers for publishing videos on TikTok and Instagram about sugar and the artificial sweetener aspartame without disclosing that the posts were paid for by the American Beverage Association and The Canadian Sugar Institute.

The FTC says this makes each of them potentially on the hook for fines over $50,000 if they continue posting without disclosures. Samuel Levine, who heads the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, called it “irresponsible for any trade group to hire influencers to tout its members’ product” without making sure content creators are clear about the deal. The FTC…

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