What’s the one thing Cardi B, every Kardashian-Jenner, and countless influencers (minus Jameela Jamil, of course) have in common? Yes, they all have extensive amounts of money, cars, and clothes—but they also all share endorsement deals with a “tea-tox” company.
You’ve seen them everywhere: Major brands like Flat Tummy Co. and Teami Blends have become notorious for their #sponcon on social media. To have an endorsement from one of these brands means that you, as an influencer, have manifested the highest power of social media fame. But it comes at a price. While celebrities are touting their weight loss benefits, the reality is that detox teas are kind of dangerous.
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#ad Ok you guys… I’ve been putting in work, adding in @flattummyco meal replacement shakes and I’m seriously feeling so good. My energy is up, my cravings are controlled and I actually feel like I’m a total tummy knockout. You need to go check them out while their 30% OFF sale is on. Ps: how CUTE is this shaker bottle?!
But we already know this. By this point, almost every single one of us has bought something because “that hot girl we follow on Instagram uses it,” only to be heavily disappointed by the results. Still, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is ready to take the fight against these products one step further. Blumenthal recently sent a letter to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, lamenting the teas, the celebrities who support them, and “their false promotion as shortcuts to healthy weight loss and management.”
“These products, marketed to adolescents and young adults through celebrity endorsements and social media for weight loss and wellness, are ineffective at best and dangerous at worse,” Blumenthal wrote.
Blumenthal wasn’t afraid to call out one of the biggest stars on Instagram, either. “Kim Kardashian, a powerful influence on young women, recently raved about how Flat Tummy Co.’s products are ‘helping me get my tummy back to flat,’ implying that these products are an integral part of achieving this level of fame and success,” he wrote. “Additionally, celebrities can reportedly earn six-figure sums for a single social media post promoting a ‘detox tea,’ frequently without any expectation that these celebrities personally use these teas and expose themselves to the products’ associated dangers, in violation of the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines.”
Blumenthal hopes the FTC will finally take the appropriate next step in ending these toxic endorsement deals by launching an investigation into these brands in an effort to promote more transparency between consumers, the companies, and the influencers shamelessly promoting the products.
Should we consider this the end of the tea-tox craze? Let us pray.