FTC to investigate Juul Labs on marketing practices


The Federal Trade Commission is reported to have investigated its business practices on Juul Labs, the e-cigarette start-up. The Wall Street Journal. The government agency is particularly interested in the question of whether Juul has used deceptive marketing targeting minors. He is also studying the possibility for Juul to hire influencers to sell his products. The FTC could claim damages.

In a statement to the NewspaperJuul said he used influencers as part of a "small, short-term pilot project" that ended last year. The company paid less than $ 10,000 to less than 10 adults aged 30 or older, smokers or former smokers, the spokesman told the newspaper.

The investigation is apparently ongoing since last year, even before Altria Group's tobacco conglomerate invested more than $ 12 billion to take a 35% stake in the startup. The first letter from the FTC requesting marketing information was sent to Juul in September. The news of this investigation adds to earlier reports that the Food and Drug Administration, as well as several state attorneys general, were also investigating Juul's business practices. The FDA has asked Juul to provide information that may explain why the devices are popular with young people. She then inspected the company's office for related documents.

In an interview today, Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs, warned non-smokers never to use his company's products. "Do not make a mistake," Burns said in an interview CBS this morning. "Do not use Juul." He went on to explain that the product was not designed for people who did not already have a "pre-existing relationship" with nicotine.

The Surgeon General of the United States declared the vape epidemic among young people in 2018 and specifically pointed to the popularity of Juul in his opinion. A study released earlier this year found that people who began to pant in adolescence were more likely to smoke cigarettes later in life.

Juul is now trying to get out of the youth market by saying he never wanted it. He created a Bluetooth-enabled electronic cigarette that requires users to present a government-issued photo ID to use the product. It also encourages retailers to install an electronic age verification system on their point-of-sale software. The company is willing to offer up to $ 100 million of incentives to encourage them to do so.

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