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Prince Lionheart, Inc., et al.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

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 that accompanies the consent agreement and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 21, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should refer to “Prince Lionheart, Inc., et al., File No. 032 3245,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, as explained in the Supplementary Information section. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments filed in electronic form (except comments containing any confidential material) should be sent to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carol Jennings or Robert Frisby, FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Start Printed Page 39937Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3010 or 326-2098.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and section 2.34 of the Commission's 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 June 21, 2004), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2004/​06/​index.htm. 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.

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. Written comments must be submitted on or before July 21, 2004. Comments should refer to “Prince Lionheart, Inc., et al., File No. 032 3245,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. If the comment contains any material for which confidential treatment is requested, it must be filed in paper (rather than electronic) form, and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled “Confidential.” [1] The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments filed in electronic form should be sent to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement to a proposed consent order by respondents Prince Lionheart, Inc., and Thomas E. McConnell, individually and as President of the corporation.

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for reception 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 other appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter concerns practices related to the advertising, offering for sale, sale, and distribution of an electronic mosquito repellent device called the “Love Bug.” The Commission's complaint charged that respondents violated the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., by making representations that were false and for which they lacked a reasonable basis of substantiation. These representations concerned the following: The ability of the “Love Bug” to repel mosquitoes from a baby; the effectiveness of the “Love Bug” as an alternative to the use of chemical products formulated to repel mosquitoes; and the ability of the “Love Bug” to protect babies against contracting the West Nile virus.

Part I of the proposed order prohibits any representation that the “Love Bug,” or any substantially similar product, (A) repels mosquitoes from a baby or any person; (B) is an effective alternative to the use of chemical products formulated to repel mosquitoes; or (C) protects babies or other persons against contracting the West Nile virus, unless the representation is true and respondents possess competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation. For purposes of this part, a “substantially similar product” means any product that uses or purports to use sonic or ultrasonic technology to repel mosquitoes from the user.

Part II of the proposed order prohibits unsubstantiated representations about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any consumer electronic product.

Part III of the proposed order requires the respondents to send a letter (Attachment A to the consent agreement), with a copy of the order, to any catalog company or other wholesale or retail seller to which respondents have sold the “Love Bug” since January 1, 2002.

Part IV of the proposed order is a record keeping provision that requires the respondents to maintain certain records for three (3) years after the last date of dissemination of any representation covered by the order. These records include: (1) All advertisements and promotional materials containing the representation; (2) all materials relied upon in disseminating the representation; and (3) all evidence in respondents' possession or control that contradicts, qualifies, or calls into question the representation or the basis for it.

Part V of the proposed order requires distribution of the order to principals, officers, directors, and managers, and to employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of the order.

Part VI of the proposed order requires that the Commission be notified of any change in the corporation that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Part VII of the proposed order requires that for a period of five (5) years, the individual respondent notify the Commission of the discontinuance of his current business or employment or of his affiliation with any new business or employment.

Part VIII of the proposed order requires the respondents to file a compliance report with the Commission.

Part IX of the proposed order states that, absent certain circumstance, the order will terminate twenty (20) years from the date it is issued.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed consent order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and Start Printed Page 39938proposed order or to modify their terms in any way.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Commission Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 04-14967 Filed 6-30-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P