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Beiersdorf, Inc.; 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 Start Printed Page 39106consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments electronically or in paper form. Comments should refer to “Beiersdorf, File No. 092-3194” 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 Web site, 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).[1]

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 Web link: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​beiersdorfconsent 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 Web link https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​beiersdorfconsent. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/​search/​index.jsp, you may also file an electronic comment through that Web site. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it. You may also visit the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/​ to read the Notice and the news release describing it.

A comment filed in paper form should include the “Beiersdorf, File No. 092-3194” 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-113 (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.

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 Web site, 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 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.shtm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Evan Rose (415-848-5100), FTC, Western Region, San Francisco, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580.

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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 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 29, 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.

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 Consent Order from Beiersdorf, Inc. (“respondent”). 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 and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising, marketing, and sale of “NIVEA My Silhouette! Redefining Gel-Cream” (“My Silhouette”) by respondent. Respondent has marketed My Silhouette to consumers through third-party retail outlets.

My Silhouette is a skin cream that contains “Bio-slim Complex,” a combination of ingredients that includes white tea and anise. According to the FTC complaint, respondent promoted My Silhouette as able to slim and reshape the body.

Specifically, the FTC complaint alleges that respondent represented, in various advertisements, that regular use of My Silhouette results in significant reductions in body size. The complaint alleges that this claim is false and thus violates the FTC Act.

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts or practices in the future. Specifically, Part I prohibits respondent from claiming that My Silhouette or any other topically applied product causes substantial weight or fat loss or a substantial reduction in body size.

Part II covers any representation that a drug, dietary supplement, or cosmetic causes weight or fat loss or a reduction in body size. Part II prohibits Start Printed Page 39107respondent from making such representations unless the representation is non-misleading, and, at the time of making such representation, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates that the representation is true. For purposes of Part II, the proposed order defines “competent and reliable scientific evidence” as at least two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical studies that are conducted by independent, qualified researchers and that conform to acceptable designs and protocols, and whose results, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, are sufficient to substantiate that the representation is true.

Part III of the proposed order prohibits respondent from making representations, other than representations covered under Parts I or II, about the health benefits of any drug, dietary supplement, or cosmetic, unless the representation is non-misleading, and, at the time of making such representation, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that is sufficient in quality and quantity based on standards generally accepted in the relevant scientific fields, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to substantiate that the representation is true. For purposes of Part III, the proposed order defines “competent and reliable scientific evidence” as “tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons, and that are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.”

Part IV of the proposed order states that the order does not prohibit respondent from making representations for any drug that are permitted in labeling for that drug under any tentative or final standard promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), or under any new drug application approved by the FDA. This part of the proposed order also states that the order does not prohibit respondent from making 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 pay nine hundred thousand dollars ($900,000) to the Commission to be used for equitable relief, including restitution, and any attendant expenses for the administration of such equitable relief.

Parts VI, VII, VIII, and IX of the proposed order require respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to its personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part X 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 their terms in any way.

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By direction of the Commission.

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 FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. 2011-16739 Filed 7-1-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P