Federal Trade Commission.
Proposed Consent Agreement.
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 complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.
Comments must be received on or before July 10, 2009.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments electronically or in paper form. Comments should refer to“Constellation Brands, File No. 092 3035” to facilitate the organization of comments. Please note that your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on the publicly accessible FTC website, at (http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm).
Because comments will be made public, they should not include any sensitive personal information, such as an individual’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. Comments also should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, comments should 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 Commission Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
Because paper mail addressed to the FTC is subject to delay due to heightened security screening, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by using the following weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-ConstellationBrands) (and following the instructions on the web-based form). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form at the weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-ConstellationBrands). If this Notice appears at (http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp), you may also file an electronic comment through that website. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it. You may also visit the FTC website at http://www.ftc.gov/ to read the Notice and the news release describing it.
A comment filed in paper form should include the “Constellation Brands, File No. 092 3035“ reference both in the text and on the envelope, Start Printed Page 31443and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Janet Evans, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3112.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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 June 10, 2009), 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.
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 (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Constellation Brands, Inc. (“the company”). The proposed consent 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 or make final the agreement’s proposed order.
This matter involves alleged unsubstantiated claims made in advertising for the beverage alcohol product Wide Eye schnapps, introduced by the company in 2007. Wide Eye contains 30% alcohol by volume plus caffeine. The company promoted Wide Eye through Internet advertising, including web video and print ads. Among other things, the company made the following claims about Wide Eye: “Wake up @ WideEye.com,” “I am your wake up call,” “Wakes up sweet, then goes off like an alarm,” and “When you party with the world’s first caffeinated schnapps it’ll seem like the rest of the world is sleepwalking through life.”
According to the FTC complaint, the company represented, expressly or by implication, that consumers who drink Wide Eye will remain alert when consuming alcohol. The complaint alleges that the company did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis that substantiated the representation at the time it was made. Therefore, the representation was, and is, false and misleading.
The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent the company from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed consent order prohibits the company, in connection with the advertising, sale, or distribution of Wide Eye or any other beverage alcohol product containing caffeine, ginseng, taurine, guarana, or any stimulant, from representing, expressly or by implication, including through the use of a product name or endorsement, that consumers who drink such a product will remain alert when consuming alcohol unless that representation is true, non-misleading, and, at the time it is made, the company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation. Part II of the consent order further prevents the company from representing, expressly or by implication, including through the use of a product name or endorsement, that any beverage alcohol product or any ingredient therein will counteract the effects of alcohol consumption, unless that representation is true, non-misleading, and, at the time it is made, the company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation.
Parts III through VI of the consent order require the company to keep copies of relevant advertisements and promotional materials, to provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel, to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure, and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part VII provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years with certain exceptions.
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.Start Signature
Donald S. Clark,
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 FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E9-15462 Filed 6-30-09: 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-S