TINA.org investigated the Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts of record producer DJ Khaled and found that he was deceptively marketing various alcohol brands — Diageo’s Cîroc vodka, Bacardi’s D’Usse cognac, and Sovereign Brands’ Belaire sparkling wines and Bumbu rum — to his more than 23 million social media followers, many of whom were under the age of 21, without disclosing his material connection to the alcohol companies.
- Sent warning letter to DJ Khaled
- DJ Khaled fixed deceptive posts and halted marketing of alcohol brands on Snapchat
- FTC sent letter to DJ Khaled reminding him of legal obligations
June 14, 2018: Prompted by TINA.org’s investigation and findings, the FTC sends a letter to DJ Khaled reminding him of his legal obligations to clearly and conspicuously disclose his material connections to products that he endorses on social media, as well as his obligation to abide by the alcohol industry’s codes when endorsing alcohol brands on his social media posts.
April 10, 2018: TINA.org replies to Diageo.
April 9, 2018: Diageo responds to TINA.org’s letter.
March 30 – April 8, 2018: TINA.org’s audits of DJ Khaled’s social media accounts reveal that he stopped actively promoting alcohol on his social media accounts after receiving the warning letter, and came clean about his liquor endorsement deals in more than 150 prior posts on Facebook and Instagram by adding #AD to the captions, while deleting more than a dozen undisclosed alcohol ads on Twitter.
March 29, 2018: TINA.org sends a warning letter to DJ Khaled’s attorneys on behalf of TINA.org, Public Citizen, Alcohol Justice, US Alcohol Policy Alliance, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, The Center for Digital Democracy, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving notifying them of TINA.org’s findings regarding DJ Khaled’s problematic alcohol marketing on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and asking that he and his sponsors immediately remove all deceptive and illegal social media alcohol posts from circulation and ensure that all future posts are clearly and conspicuously labeled as advertisements and not targeted at minors. Copies of the letter were provided to DJ Khaled, Diageo, Bacardi, Sovereign Brands, and others.
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