Compliance Issues Don’t Just Go Away When You’re On Social Media

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Why Your Legal Department Needs to Know What The Marketing Team is Up To

As sick as you may be of Kim Kardashian’s antics, chances are you’re not nearly as tired of hearing her name as the legal department of Duchesnay, USA. That company is responsible for the manufacture of a drug called Diclegis, which can be used to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.

Kardashian’s glowing Instagram post about how well the medicine worked for her brought nearly instant attention from the FDA, which tightly regulates all advertising regarding prescription medications. Duchesnay, USA was ordered to immediately remove the offending post – which it did, although it is still being quoted in full in many places, including this Business Insider article.

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Additionally, Duchesnay, USA needs to come up with a plan to make sure all of Kardashian’s followers who were exposed to the message also receive the vital information the FDA says the Instagram post left out, such as the fact Diclegis hasn’t been approved to treat all types of morning sickness, and potential side effects.

Every industry has its own unique set of rules and regulations it is required to abide by. The pharmaceutical industry has many strict requirements relevant to advertising. Financial service providers, legal firms, and health care professionals operate under similar strictures. What the Kardashian story brings home to us is the fact that compliance regulations do not disappear when commercial messaging takes place on social media. The content appearing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and yes, even Instagram needs to be as rigorously vetted as any other communications your organization puts out. Compliance checking can, in fact, slow down your social media presence – but it’s time well spent when you consider the alternative is drawing the ire – and potentially costly fines! – of your regulatory authorities!

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