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Holly A. Bacon, d/b/a Cleansing Time Pro; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order 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 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 October 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Holly A. Bacon, File No. 082 3119,” 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 135-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). 16 CFR 4.9(c) (2005).[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 that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form by following the instructions on the web-based form at (http://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-HollyABacon). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on that web-based form.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”) and other laws 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, whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm). As a matter of discretion, the Commission makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC website. 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.shtm)

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Cleland, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, (202) 326-3088.

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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 § 2.34 of 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 18, 2008), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2008/​09/​index.htm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 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. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Holly A. Bacon, doing business as Cleansing Time Pro (“respondent”).

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 or make final the agreement’s proposed order.

This matter concerns the advertising and promotion of products known as Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve & Tablets. According to their labels, these products contain “blood root, galangal & zinc chloride in a base of blended Start Printed Page 57629synergistic herbs (+ calcium in the tablets).” Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve is an ointment that respondent recommends for external use. Alternatively, respondent recommends that consumers take the product internally by purchasing Black Salve Tablets or by placing an amount of the Black Salve ointment into a gelatin capsule.

The Commission’s complaint charges that respondent claimed that Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve & Tablets were effective to treat, prevent, or cure numerous forms of cancer and various viral infections, including hepatitis, HIV, SARS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Bird Flu. The complaint alleges that respondent did not have a reasonable basis for these claims. The Commission’s complaint also challenges respondent’s testimonial advertising. The complaint alleges that respondent failed to disclose adequately that one of the endorsers was respondent Holly A. Bacon herself. The complaint alleges that this was a deceptive act or practice, because the fact that one of the endorsers had a material connection with Cleansing Time Pro would materially affect the weight and credibility given by consumers to the endorsement and would be material to consumers in their purchase or use of the products.

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I requires respondent to have competent and reliable scientific evidence substantiating any claim that Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve & Tablets, or any other covered product or service, is effective in the prevention, treatment or cure of cancer, cancer, hepatitis, HIV, SARS, West Nile Virus, or Avian Bird Flu. A “covered product or service” is defined as any food, dietary supplement, or drug, including, but not limited to, Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve & Tablets, or any other health-related product, service, or program. Part II requires that any future claim about the absolute or comparative benefits, performance, efficacy, safety or side effects of any covered product or service be truthful and supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

Part III of the proposed order addresses the deceptive endorsement claim by requiring that respondent disclose any material connection between an endorser and respondent, if such a connection exists. “Material connection” is defined as any relationship that materially affects the weight or credibility of the user testimonial or endorsement and that would not reasonably be expected by consumers.

Part IV of the proposed order provides that the order does not prohibit respondent from making representations for any drug that are permitted in labeling for the drug under any tentative or final Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) standard or under any new drug application approved by the FDA; and representations for any product that are specifically permitted in labeling for that product by regulations issued by the FDA under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

Part V of the proposed order requires respondent to compile a list of all consumers who purchased Cleansing Time Pro Black Salve & Tablets from respondent since July 1, 2005, and to mail a letter (Attached to the proposed order as Attachment A) to each purchaser describing the scientific evidence related to these products. Part VI prohibits respondent from providing any identifying information about her purchasers to anyone other than the Commission, another law enforcement agency, or as required by law.

Parts VII through X of the proposed order require respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials that substantiate claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to certain of her employees; to notify the Commission of her affiliation with any new health-related business or employment; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part XI of the proposed order is a “sunset” provision, dictating that the order will terminate twenty years from the date it is issued or twenty years after a complaint is filed in federal court, by either the United States or the FTC, alleging any violation of the order.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order. 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.

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Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1. 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).

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[FR Doc. E8-23327 Filed 10-2-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-S