How to Use Disclaimers Compliantly

Disclaimer Guidance

OPTAVIA is thrilled to have you join the OPTAVIA Coach Community. You are a powerful example of how OPTAVIA can help to change lives and provide inspiration to others.

In order to protect the Coach Community, the Company, and the OPTA VIA brand, please ensure that you are following these best practices when adding weight loss disclaimer or income disclaimers to your social media posts or other marketing materials.

Per the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) guidelines, all advertising disclaimers must be “clear and conspicuous” in order to be effective in qualifying a claim. The FTC has indicated that it will consider the following factors—the “4Ps”—in evaluating whether a disclaimer is clear and conspicuous.

The 4Ps are:

  1.  Prominence: whether the disclaimer is large enough and stands out enough to read easily. It should be large enough in a readable font against a contrasting background. If it is a video advertisement, it must be on the screen for enough time for it to be readable;
  2. Presentation: whether the disclaimer is easy to understand;
  3. Placement: whether the disclaimer is located where potentialClients/Candidates are likely to see it.
  4. Proximity: whether the disclaimer is close to the claim it qualifies.


The following are some practical “Do’s and Don’ts” on applying disclaimers:

 DO ensure you are using the appropriate weight loss disclaimer or income disclaimer. For guidance on weight loss disclaimers, see our article here. For guidance on income disclaimers, see our article here.

DON'T change, add or remove any wording from the Company’s standard disclaimers.

 DO make sure that the disclaimer is visible and easy to read.  This can be done in the following ways:

  • Use a font style that is easy to read;
  • Use a large enough font size;
  • Use a font color that stands out and doesn’t blend into the background;
  • Position the disclaimer in a way that can be easily read.

 DO make sure that the disclaimer is in close proximity to the claim/testimonial:

  • For before & after photos, this means that the disclaimer should be superimposed on the photo.
  • For written claims/testimonials, the disclaimer should be next to or immediately under the claim(s)/testimonial(s);
  • Disclaimers should not be in the comments section of your social media post(as they can be removed if shared by others); and
  • Remember that desktop browsers do not reflect how a post will look on a phone or other devices, therefore, ensure that disclaimers are visible from whatever device may be used to view the post.


 DO 


  • As you will note, the example use the appropriate weight loss disclaimer, and meet the 4Ps: it is prominent (the disclaimers are large enough to read and they stand out), the presentation is easy to understand, their placement is located where a Client can see it and they are close to the claims they qualify.


DON'T


DON'T


  • As you will note with these examples, while the disclaimers may be in close proximity to the claims, their presentation makes it very difficult to read, so the presentation is not compliant.


DON'T


  • Finally, while this last example meets the 4Ps: its prominent (the disclaimer is large enough to read and it stands out), the presentation is easy to understand, its placement is located where a Client can see it and it is close to the claim it qualifies, it’s the wrong disclaimer (any weight loss claims including a time frame, like, “Susan lost 20 lbs in 2 months” should use our disclaimer with a time frame, i.e., “Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® is 12 pounds (5.4kg). Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12weeks.”