I grew up with my Grandma.
And with more than a decade sleeping and waking up beside her, I learned so much lessons I lived up to this day.
My grandma taught me to always look at the good side of life.
To always see the beauty in every ugly circumstance that comes.
And just smile (or laugh) at every failure and bad decision I make.
I don’t know. But ever since my grandma told me about that, I clung to that lesson, which I believe has helped with my positive outlook in life.
But I never thought Grandma’s lesson would be also useful in my copywriting career. Especially when I started writing supplement copy.
How to Write Supplement Copy According To The FDA?
According to the FDA…
“Health supplements marketed in violation of FDA regulations are considered drugs by FDA (in the case where claims outside of ‘structure/function’ claims are made) and are subject to enforcement by both FDA and DHEA.”
“If FDA considers a supplement is marketed (content, claims, implications of treatment of a disease), FDA works with DHEA to take enforcement actions against the supplement and the marketers of the supplement.”
And to be FDA compliant…
“It is critical to ensure that statements and claims made about supplements do not say or imply that a supplement can in any way ‘prevent,’ ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ any disease.”
“This includes referring to symptoms of diseases in any statements, claims, images or the use of citations.”
“Examples include references to things like ‘pain relief,’ ‘anti-inflammatory’ and many others.”
It simply means…
You are not allowed to say your product can ease pain.
You cannot say your supplement can relieve joint issues.
Or even tell your readers that it can make them feel better.
Complicated? You bet!
For me, it’s like wanting to be honest to your parents, but you still do not because once you spill the secret – you know you’ll be dead!
For that reason, it took me years to try for the supplement space because I’m so afraid that one day, I’ll receive a call from FDA telling me, “Hey April. Welcome to jail”.
But it turned out I was overcomplicating the FDA guidelines and overthinking about a future I had never even started.
So when I decided to become a supplement copywriter, I decided to master only two areas.
First, how to become an effective supplement copywriter.
And second, how to write complaint copy.
To my surprise, writing compliant copy is easier than becoming an effective copywriter.
Now, you might be asking “how can you say that?”
Well, I’m thankful to my mentors, who made the complicated FDA regulations simple and easy-to-follow.
And, of course, to my Grandma, who taught me to become optimistic all the time.
Today, I’m going to share the secret with you. Are you ready?
How To Write FDA Compliant Copy?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasizes that any business should not say or imply that a supplement can in any way “prevent,” “treat” or “cure” any disease.
Therefore, as a supplement business, it’s important you publish promotions and advertisements that will deliver a strong and compelling message so your readers will be convinced to buy.
At the same time, write compliant supplement copy that will make the FDA happy.
But since you can’t position a supplement product as a health prevention, treatment, or cure, what you can do is…
Position your product as solution that maintains, sustains, protects, keeps, supports, and regulates an existing health condition.
You can’t say your supplement can relieve joint pain. You can say you supplement supports healthy joints, instead.
You can’t say your heart supplement treats heart disease. You can say it maintains healthy heart function, instead.
You can’t say your prostate supplement cures prostate cancer. You can say it keeps your prostate working just like when you were in your 20s, instead.
All you have to do is turn your reader’s suffering (eg. joint pain) into hope (eg. healthy joints). And position your supplement product as a solution to improve any existing condition. (Eg. relieve to maintain)
This way, the FDA won’t take your claim against your business.
See? Why over complicate if you can make supplement copywriting simple?
Now, you can write supplement copy that will keep your wrists free from the handcuffs of the FDA. And if you are overcomplicating the FDA guidelines (just like I did), I hope you find this tip useful.
Oh, by the way, one thing to take note.
While supplement copywriters are trained to write complaint copy, your legal team should also do a fair share of work to ensure your promotion, whether it is online or direct mail, will comply with the FDA.
And if you don’t have a legal team, I’d say go get one! Then thank me later.
PS: To my Grandma high-above, thanks for teaching me to become positive all the time. You did not only make my life better, but you made supplement copywriting easy for me. Love ya!