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Notice

Kobe Brown and Gregory W. Pearson, dba DERMAPPS; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

Action

Proposed Consent Agreement.

Summary

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Comments must be received on or before October 10, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “DERMAPPS, File No. 102 3205” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ acneappconsent, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Stacey Ferguson (202-326-2361) or James A. Prunty (202-326-2438), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and §2.34 the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for September 8, 2011), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before October 10, 2011. Write “DERMAPPS, File No. 102 3205” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). [1] Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/acneappconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that website.

If you file your comment on paper, write “DERMAPPS, File No. 102 3205” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before October 10, 2011. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment Back to Top

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Kobe Brown and Gregory W. Pearson, dba DERMAPPS (“respondents”).

The proposed consent order (“proposed order”) has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising of a mobile software application (“app”) called AcneApp which respondents developed and sold in Apple's iTunes Store. Respondents claimed that AcneApp effectively treats acne. The instructions for this app directed consumers to hold the light-emitting display screen next to the area of skin to be treated for several minutes each day.

The Commission's complaint alleges that respondents violated Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act by claiming, without substantiation, that the app provided an effective treatment for acne. The complaint also alleges that the respondents falsely represented that a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology proves that blue and red light therapy, such as that provided by AcneApp, is an effective treatment for acne.

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondents from engaging in similar practices in the future. Part I of the order prohibits respondents from making any representation that AcneApp, or any other device, as defined by Section 15 of the FTC Act, provides effective treatment for acne, unless respondents have competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate that claim.

Part II of the order requires respondents to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making any safety, performance, benefits, or efficacy claim about any device.

Part III of the order is a standard order provision relating to establishment claims, prohibiting the misrepresentation of any research, tests, or studies.

Part IV of the order requires respondents, within 15 days of the order, to pay the Commission $14,294.

The remaining parts of the proposed order are standard provisions regarding record-keeping, dissemination of the order to officers and employees, prior notification to the Commission of corporate changes, notification of new employment, filing compliance of reports, and sunsetting of the order.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.

By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2011-23594 Filed 9-14-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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