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 draft 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 September 17, 2012.
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 “Brain-Pad, File No. 122 3073” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/brainpadconsent, 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:
Victor DeFrancis (202-326-3495), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.
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 August 16, 2012), 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 September 17, 2012. Write “Brain-Pad, File No. 122 3073” 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).
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/brainpadconsent 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 Web site.
If you file your comment on paper, write “Brain-Pad, File No. 122 3073” 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.
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 Brain-Pad, Inc. and Joseph Manzo, an officer and director of the corporation (“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 respondents' advertising and promotion of mouthguards. According to the FTC complaint, respondents did not have a reasonable basis to represent in advertising and on packaging for their mouthguards that they reduced the risk of concussions. The FTC further alleges that the respondents made the false and misleading claim that they possessed scientific studies that proved their concussion-reduction risk claims because, in fact, they did not have such evidence.
The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent respondents from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed order prohibits the proposed respondents from misrepresenting that any product will reduce the risk of concussions or reduce the risk of concussions from lower jaw impacts.
Part II of the proposed order prohibits proposed respondents from misrepresenting, with respect to any Covered Product, the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test, study, or research, including, but not limited to, any misrepresentation that scientific studies prove that such product reduces the risk of concussions or reduces the risk of concussions from lower jaw impacts. The proposed order defines “Covered Product” as any (1) mouthguard or (2) equipment used in athletic activities that is intended to protect the brain from injury.
Part III of the proposed order prohibits proposed respondents, in connection with the marketing of any Covered Product, from misrepresenting the health benefits, health-related performance, or health-related efficacy of such product.
Parts IV through VIII of the proposed order require respondents: To keep copies of any documents relating to any representation covered by the order; to provide copies of the order to certain of their personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate business or employment as to proposed respondent Joseph Manzo individually; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part IX 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, Commissioner Rosch dissenting.
Donald S. Clark,
[FR Doc. 2012-20513 Filed 8-20-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P