[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 209 (Monday, October 28, 1996)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55642-55643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-27575]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
[File No. 942-3036]


Filtration Manufacturing, Inc.; Gary L. Sewell; Horace R. Allen; 
Brandon R. Clausen; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In settlement of alleged violations of federal law prohibiting 
unfair or deceptive acts or practices and unfair methods of 
competition, this consent agreement, accepted subject to final 
Commission approval, would require, among other things, the Mobile, 
Alabama-based manufacturer of filters for forced-air heating systems 
and other respondents to possess substantiation for all performance 
claims, health or other benefits claims, and efficacy claims made for 
any air cleaning product in the future. The agreement settles 
allegations that the respondents made misleading claims regarding 
allergy relief, airborne particle removal, and cost benefits when their 
filters are used in place of standard forced air system filters, in 
advertisements for Filtration Manufacturing's Allergy 2000 
electrostatic air filter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 27, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be directed to: FTC/Office of the Secretary, 
Room 159, 6th St. and Pa. Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Mendenhall, Federal Trade Commission, Cleveland Regional Office, 
668 Euclid Avenue, Suite 520-A, Cleveland, OH 44114-3006. (216) 522-
4210
Michael Milgrom, Federal Trade Commission, Cleveland Regional Office, 
668 Euclid Avenue, Suite 520-A, Cleveland, OH 44114-3006. (216) 522-
4210
Brinley Williams, Federal Trade Commission, Cleveland Regional Office, 
668 Euclid Avenue, Suite 520-A, Cleveland, OH 44114-3006. (216) 522-
4210

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46, 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 sixty (60) days. The following Analysis to Aid 
Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the 
allegations in the accompanying complaint. An electronic copy of the 
full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC 
Home page, on the World Wide Web, at ``http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions/
htm.'' A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, 
Room H-130, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-3627. Public 
comment is invited. Such comments or views will be considered by the 
Commission and will be available for inspection and copying at its 
principal office in accordance with Section 4.9(b)(6)(ii) of the 
Commission's Rules of Practice (16 CFR 4.9(b)(6)(ii)).

[[Page 55643]]

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment (Filtration 
Manufacturing, Inc.)

    The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final 
approval, an agreement to a proposed consent order from Filtration 
Manufacturing, Inc., a corporation (FMI), and Gary L. Savell (Savell), 
Horace R. Allen (Allen) and Brandon R. Clausen (Clausen). FMI 
manufactures and sells air filters for use in residential heating 
systems, under the brand name Allergy 2000, among others. The proposed 
consent order has been placed on the public record for sixty (60) days 
to receive the comments of interested persons. Comments received during 
this period will become part of the public record. After sixty (60) 
days, the Commission will again review the agreement and will decide 
whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the 
agreement's proposed order.
    The Commission's complaint charges that FMI, deceptively advertised 
that (1) use of the Allergy 2000 filter will substantially reduce the 
incidence of allergies caused by indoor allergens under household 
living conditions; (2) use of the Allergy 2000 will substantially 
reduce the amount of disease-causing germs in the air people breathe 
under household living conditions; (3) use of the Allergy 2000 will 
substantially reduce the incidence of disease caused by germs in the 
air people breathe under household living conditions; (4) people who 
use the Allergy 2000 in their homes will be healthier and have fewer 
illnesses than they would if they used a conventional filter; and, (5) 
the Allergy 2000 removes substantially all of the airborne 
contaminants, including allergens, from the air people breathe under 
the household living conditions. The complaint charges that FMI lacked 
substantiation for these claims. The complaint charges that these 
claims were made through advertisements and promotional materials and 
through use of the trade name ``Allergy 2000.''
    In addition to the health-related claims listed above, the 
complaint also charges that FMI deceptively advertised that consumers 
would have lower utility bills if they replaced conventional filters 
with the Allergy 2000. The complaint charges that FMI lacked 
substantiation for this claim, too.
    The complaint charges that Savell, Allen and Clausen formulated and 
controlled the affairs of FMI, including the acts and practices charged 
in the complaint.
    The proposed order contains provisions designed to prevent 
misrepresentations related to these specific matters and others. 
Paragraph I of the proposed order prohibits FMI, Savell, Allen and 
Clausen (the respondents) from making any representation regarding the 
performance, health or other benefits, or efficacy of any air cleaning 
product (which is defined) unless they can substantiate the claims with 
competent and reliable evidence. If the representation states or 
implies a level of performance under household conditions, then the 
evidence that substantiates the representation must either be related 
to such conditions or must have been extrapolated to household 
conditions by generally accepted procedures.
    Paragraph II prohibits the respondents from using the trade name 
Allergy 2000 or any other name that represents that the product will 
relieve allergy symptoms unless they can substantiate the 
representation.
    Paragraphs III, IV, VI, and VII are compliance and reporting 
provisions that require the respondents to maintain for five (5) years 
the records on which they rely to substantiate any representation 
covered by the order, to provide copies of the order to certain 
employees of FMI, to notify the Commission in the event of changes in 
FMI that may affect compliance obligations arising out of the order, 
and to file a compliance report with the Commission within sixty (60) 
days after the order becomes final. Paragraph V requires Savell, Allen 
and Clausen to notify the Commission of any change in their business 
affiliation.
    Paragraph VIII provides that the order will terminate automatically 
twenty years from the date it becomes final unless the Commission has 
brought an aciton in federal court alleging a violation of the order. 
In that case, the order will terminate twenty years from the date that 
the federal court action is filed.
    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.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 96-27575 Filed 10-25-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-M