Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets, 29256-29259 [2017-13476]

Download as PDF 29256 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 123 / Wednesday, June 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (d) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers? 2. As discussed above, the Rule tracks the CAN–SPAM Act in prohibiting the sending of commercial email to a recipient more than ten business days after the recipient opts out. Should the Commission modify the Rule to reduce the time-period for processing opt-out requests to less than ten business days? (a) Why or why not? (b) What evidence supports such a modification? (c) How would this modification affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses? (d) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers? 3. Should the Commission modify the Rule to specify additional activities or practices that constitute aggravated violations? (a) Why or why not? (b) What evidence supports such a modification? (c) How would this modification affect the costs the Rule imposes on businesses, including small businesses? (d) How would this modification affect the benefits to consumers? IV. Request for Comment You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 31, 2017. Write ‘‘CAN– SPAM Rule, 16 CFR part 316, Project No. R711010,’’ 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 https:// www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments. 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/ canspamrulereview, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at https:// www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘CAN–SPAM Rule, 16 CFR part 316, Project No. R711010’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:38 Jun 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’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, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information 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)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. 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). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC Web site—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Web site, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the FTC Web site to read this document and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before August 31, 2017. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/ privacy-policy. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–13471 Filed 6–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 410 RIN 3084–AB44 Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets Federal Trade Commission. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); request for public comment. AGENCY: ACTION: As part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the Commission requests public comment on the overall costs, benefits, necessity, and regulatory and economic impact of the FTC’s Trade Regulation Rule concerning Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets (‘‘Rule’’ or ‘‘Picture Tube Rule’’). DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2017. ADDRESSES: 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: ‘‘16 CFR part 410—Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ picturetuberule by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘16 CFR part 410—Picture Tube Rule Review, Matter No. P174200’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC– 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28JNP1.SGM 28JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 123 / Wednesday, June 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. John Andrew Singer, (202) 326–3234, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Background The Commission promulgated the Picture Tube Rule in 1966,1 to prevent deceptive claims regarding television screens’ size and encourage uniformity in measurement, thereby aiding comparison shopping. The Rule sets forth the appropriate means to disclose the method used to measure the dimensions of television screens.2 Under the Rule, marketers must base any representation of screen size on the horizontal dimension of the actual, viewable picture area unless they disclose the alternative method of measurement clearly and conspicuously, and in close proximity, to the size designation.3 The Rule also directs that marketers base the measurement on a single-plane basis, without taking into account any screen curvature.4 Finally, it includes examples of both proper and improper size representations.5 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS II. Regulatory Review Program The Commission reviews its rules and guides periodically to seek information about their costs and benefits, regulatory and economic impact, and general effectiveness in protecting consumers and helping industry avoid deceptive claims. These reviews assist the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. The Commission last reviewed the Rule in 2006, retaining it unchanged.6 With this document, the Commission initiates a new review. It solicits comments on, among other things: The economic impact of and the continuing need for, the Rule; the Rule’s benefits to consumers; and the burdens it places on industry, including small businesses. The Commission further solicits comments, and invites the submission of data, regarding how consumers understand dimension claims for televisions, including: 1 31 FR 3342 (Mar. 3, 1966). CFR 410.1. 3 The Rule provides that ‘‘any referenced or footnote disclosure of the manner of measurement by means of the asterisk or some similar symbol does not satisfy the ‘close connection and conjunction’ requirement of this part.’’ Id., Note 2. 4 Id., Note 1. 5 Id., Note 2. 6 71 FR 34247 (Jun. 14, 2006). 2 16 VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:38 Jun 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 Whether consumers understand the stated dimensions, whether the dimensions are limited to the set’s viewable portion, and whether the dimensions are based on a single-plane measurement that does not include curvature in the set’s screen.7 The Commission also solicits comments on whether advances in broadcasting and television technology, such as the introduction of curved screen display panels and changing aspect ratios (e.g., from the traditional 4:3 to 16:9), create a need to modify the Rule. Finally, it requests comments regarding whether the Rule should address viewable screen size measurement reporting tolerances and rounding. III. Issues for Comment To aid commenters in submitting their comments, the Commission provides the following general regulatory review questions and specific questions related to the Picture Tube Rule. The Commission seeks comments on these and any other issues related to the Rule’s current requirements. In their replies to each of these questions, commenters should provide any available evidence and data, such as empirical data, consumer perception studies, or consumer complaints, that support the positions asserted in their comments. A. General Regulatory Review Questions (1) Need: Is there a continuing need for the Rule? Explain why or why not. Is there a need for a rule to address any unfair or deceptive acts or practices concerning television screen sizes or would case-by-case enforcement be a better approach to addressing such practices? (2) Unnecessary Provisions: Are any specific provisions of the Rule no longer necessary? If so, identify these provisions and explain why they are unnecessary. (3) Benefits and Costs to Consumers: What benefits, if any, does the Rule provide to consumers, and does the Rule impose any significant costs on consumers? (4) Benefits and Costs to Industry Members: What benefits, if any, does the Rule provide to businesses, and does the Rule impose any significant costs, including compliance costs, on businesses, including small businesses? 7 In the 50 years since the Rule’s adoption, marketers have come typically to advertise screen size based on a single-plane diagonal measurement of the screen’s viewable portion. The Commission, infra, solicits comments and data on whether this practice is continuing with the relatively recently introduced curved display panel television sets. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 29257 (5) Recommended Changes: What modifications, if any, should the Commission make to the Rule to increase its benefits or reduce its costs? Explain the specific modifications you propose and how they would affect the Rule’s costs and benefits for consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (6) Impact on Information: What impact does the Rule have on the flow of truthful information to consumers and deceptive information to consumers? (7) Compliance: What is the degree of industry compliance with the Rule? Does this compliance level indicate that the Commission should modify the Rule? If so, explain why and how the Commission should do so. (8) Additional Unfair or Deceptive Practices: Are there unfair or deceptive practices not covered by the Rule occurring in the marketplace relating to the advertising and promotion of the viewable picture size of television set screens? If so: (a) Describe these practices and provide evidence of their existence; (b) state their prevalence; (c) state their impact on consumers; (d) explain what modifications the Commission should make to the Rule to eliminate such practices; and (e) explain how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (9) Product Coverage: Should the Commission broaden the Rule to include products not currently covered? If so: (a) Identify these products; (b) describe the unfair or deceptive practices occurring regarding these products and provide evidence of these practices; (c) state the prevalence of these practices; (d) explain what modifications the Commission should make to the Rule to cover these practices; (e) explain how these modifications would eliminate these practices; and (f) explain how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (10) Overlaps and Conflicts with, and Effects on, Other Requirements: Does the Rule overlap or conflict with other Federal, State, or local laws or regulations? If so: (a) Identify these laws or regulations; (b) describe how the Rule overlaps or conflicts; and (c) explain how the Commission should modify the Rule to eliminate or lessen such overlaps or conflicts. Additionally, are any modifications to the Rule necessary to assist state law enforcement agencies’ efforts to combat deceptive or unfair practices in television set marketing? If so, explain what modifications the E:\FR\FM\28JNP1.SGM 28JNP1 29258 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 123 / Wednesday, June 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Commission should make to the Rule and how they will assist these agencies. B. Specific Questions Related to the Picture Tube Rule (1) Consumer Understanding of Screen Measurements Generally: What understanding do consumers have regarding television screen dimensions stated in advertisements, e.g., do they think the dimensions are diagonal, horizontal, or vertical; single or multiplane; include only the viewable screen area? Submit evidence supporting your position. (2) The Rule’s Default Screen Measurement Method: Should the Rule’s default television set screen measurement method change, e.g., to the diagonal single-plane measurement of the viewable portion of a screen? If so: (a) Explain how, and why, the default screen measurement method should change; (b) explain whether the Commission should continue to require that, when a screen dimension stated in advertising is based upon anything but the default measurement method, the method used must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously, and in close proximity, to the dimension; (c) submit evidence supporting your position; and (d) explain how the default screen measurement method that you proposed in response to (a), supra, would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (3) Curved Display Screens: Note 1 to the Rule directs that the viewable picture size of television set screens be measured on a single-plane basis, not taking into account any screen curvature. When the Commission originally promulgated this provision, television sets used cathode ray tubes with curved display screens. Today, television sets generally incorporate plasma, LED, OLED, and similar flat display screens, though some television sets have concave display screens. (a) Do consumers understand that stated dimensions are based on a single-plane measurement that does not include curvature in the screen? Submit evidence supporting your position. (b) Does the use of curved screens affect how manufacturers and marketers measure and promote the viewable screen size of television sets? If so: (1) Identify and explain these effects; (2) explain how, if at all, the Commission should modify the Rule to address these effects; and (3) explain how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (4) Measurement Reporting Tolerances and Rounding: The Rule does not address how to disclose the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:38 Jun 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 viewable screen size of television sets that do not, consistent with Note 2, measure precisely to an inch or 100th of a centimeter measurement. In 2008, industry requested staff guidance on rounding because promotional material measurements were often off by up to 1⁄2-inch to avoid waste in cutting glass from standard sheets. Staff advised, with the caveat that it did not speak for the Commission, that it was unlikely to recommend enforcement action based on an up to 1⁄2-inch discrepancy, as long as marketers make clear that the larger number represents a class size and state the actual screen measurement, clearly and conspicuously, and in close proximity to the class size representation, e.g., 32’’ Class, 31.75’’ actual measurement. Explain: (a) How, if at all, the Commission should modify the Rule to address this issue; and (b) how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (5) Aspect Ratios: Some television sets have viewing screens with a 16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio rather than 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio. Do different aspect ratios affect how manufacturers and marketers measure and promote the viewable screen size of television sets? If so: (a) Identify how different aspect ratios change screen measurement and television set marketing; (b) explain how, if at all, the Commission should modify the Rule to address this issue; and (c) explain how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. (6) Technological or Economic Changes: Should the Commission otherwise modify the Rule to account for current or impending changes in technology or economic conditions that may affect television sets? If so: (a) Identify these changes; (b) explain how, if at all, the Commission should modify the Rule to address this issue; and (c) explain how any modifications would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses. IV. Request for Comment You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 31, 2017. Write ‘‘16 CFR part 410—Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200’’ 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/policy/publiccomments. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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/ picturetuberule, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at https:// www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘16 CFR part 410—Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC– 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’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, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential’’—as provided by 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)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. 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). E:\FR\FM\28JNP1.SGM 28JNP1 29259 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 123 / Wednesday, June 28, 2017 / Proposed Rules In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC Web site—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Web site, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the FTC Web site to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that 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 on or before August 31, 2017. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/ site-information/privacy-policy. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–13476 Filed 6–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Chapter I Regulatory Review Schedule Federal Trade Commission. Intent to request public comments. AGENCY: ACTION: As part of its ongoing, systematic review of all Federal Trade Commission rules and guides, the Commission announces a modified tenyear regulatory review schedule. No Commission determination on the need for, or the substance of, the rules and guides listed below should be inferred from this notice. DATES: Effective on June 28, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Further details about particular rules or guides may be obtained from the contact person listed below for the rule or guide. SUMMARY: To ensure that its rules and industry guides remain relevant and are not unduly burdensome, the Commission reviews them on a ten-year schedule. Each year the Commission publishes its review schedule, with adjustments made in response to public input, changes in the marketplace, and resource demands. When the Commission reviews a rule or guide, it publishes a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the continuing need for the rule or guide, as well as the rule’s or guide’s costs and benefits to consumers and businesses. Based on this feedback, the Commission may modify or repeal the rule or guide to address public concerns or changed conditions, or to reduce undue regulatory burden. The Commission posts information about its review schedule on its Web site 1 to facilitate comment. This Web site contains an updated review schedule, a list of rules and guides previously eliminated in the regulatory review process, and the Commission’s regulatory review plan. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Modified Ten-Year Schedule for Review of FTC Rules and Guides For 2017, the Commission intends to initiate reviews of, and solicit public comments on, the following rules: (1) CAN–SPAM Rule, 16 CFR part 316. Agency Contact: Christopher Brown, (202) 326–2825, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Marketing Practices, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580. (2) Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets, 16 CFR part 410. Agency Contact: John Singer, (202) 326–3234, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580. The Commission is currently reviewing 10 of the 65 rules and guides within its jurisdiction. During 2016, it completed reviews of 2 rules. The Commission is postponing review of the following matters previously scheduled for review in 2017 until 2022: Guides Against Deceptive Pricing, 16 CFR part 233; Guides Against Bait Advertising, 16 CFR part 238; and Guide Concerning Use of the Word ‘‘Free’’ and Similar Representations, 16 CFR part 251. A copy of the Commission’s modified regulatory review schedule for 2017 through 2027 is appended. The Commission, in its discretion, may modify or reorder the schedule in the future to incorporate new rules, or to respond to external factors (such as changes in the law) or other considerations. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 41–58. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. Appendix Regulatory Review MODIFIED TEN-YEAR SCHEDULE Topic Year to review 23 ............. 259 ........... 308 ........... rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 16 CFR part Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries ............................................................... Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles .......................................................... Trade Regulation Rule Pursuant to the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 [Pay Per Call Rule]. Telemarketing Sales Rule ........................................................................................................................... Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information ..................................................................................... Contact Lens Rule ....................................................................................................................................... Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods ........................................................ Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule) ............................................................................................... Labeling and Advertising of Home Insulation .............................................................................................. Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records ............................................................................ Currently Under Review. Currently Under Review. Currently Under Review. 310 314 315 423 456 460 682 ........... ........... ........... ........... ........... ........... ........... 1 See https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/ retrospective-review-ftc-rules-guides. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:38 Jun 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\28JNP1.SGM 28JNP1 Currently Currently Currently Currently Currently Currently Currently Under Under Under Under Under Under Under Review. Review. Review. Review. Review. Review. Review.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 123 (Wednesday, June 28, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29256-29259]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-13476]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 410

RIN 3084-AB44


Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Deceptive Advertising as to 
Sizes of Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); request for 
public comment.

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

SUMMARY: As part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and 
guides, the Commission requests public comment on the overall costs, 
benefits, necessity, and regulatory and economic impact of the FTC's 
Trade Regulation Rule concerning Deceptive Advertising as to Sizes of 
Viewable Pictures Shown by Television Receiving Sets (``Rule'' or 
``Picture Tube Rule'').

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 31, 2017.

ADDRESSES: 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: ``16 CFR part 410--
Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200'' on your comment, and file 
your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/picturetuberule by following the instructions on the web-based form. If 
you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``16 CFR part 410--
Picture Tube Rule Review, Matter No. P174200'' on your comment and on 
the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal 
Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment 
to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW.,

[[Page 29257]]

5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Andrew Singer, (202) 326-3234, 
Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 
Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Commission promulgated the Picture Tube Rule in 1966,\1\ to 
prevent deceptive claims regarding television screens' size and 
encourage uniformity in measurement, thereby aiding comparison 
shopping. The Rule sets forth the appropriate means to disclose the 
method used to measure the dimensions of television screens.\2\ Under 
the Rule, marketers must base any representation of screen size on the 
horizontal dimension of the actual, viewable picture area unless they 
disclose the alternative method of measurement clearly and 
conspicuously, and in close proximity, to the size designation.\3\ The 
Rule also directs that marketers base the measurement on a single-plane 
basis, without taking into account any screen curvature.\4\ Finally, it 
includes examples of both proper and improper size representations.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 31 FR 3342 (Mar. 3, 1966).
    \2\ 16 CFR 410.1.
    \3\ The Rule provides that ``any referenced or footnote 
disclosure of the manner of measurement by means of the asterisk or 
some similar symbol does not satisfy the `close connection and 
conjunction' requirement of this part.'' Id., Note 2.
    \4\ Id., Note 1.
    \5\ Id., Note 2.
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II. Regulatory Review Program

    The Commission reviews its rules and guides periodically to seek 
information about their costs and benefits, regulatory and economic 
impact, and general effectiveness in protecting consumers and helping 
industry avoid deceptive claims. These reviews assist the Commission in 
identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. 
The Commission last reviewed the Rule in 2006, retaining it 
unchanged.\6\ With this document, the Commission initiates a new 
review. It solicits comments on, among other things: The economic 
impact of and the continuing need for, the Rule; the Rule's benefits to 
consumers; and the burdens it places on industry, including small 
businesses. The Commission further solicits comments, and invites the 
submission of data, regarding how consumers understand dimension claims 
for televisions, including: Whether consumers understand the stated 
dimensions, whether the dimensions are limited to the set's viewable 
portion, and whether the dimensions are based on a single-plane 
measurement that does not include curvature in the set's screen.\7\ The 
Commission also solicits comments on whether advances in broadcasting 
and television technology, such as the introduction of curved screen 
display panels and changing aspect ratios (e.g., from the traditional 
4:3 to 16:9), create a need to modify the Rule. Finally, it requests 
comments regarding whether the Rule should address viewable screen size 
measurement reporting tolerances and rounding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ 71 FR 34247 (Jun. 14, 2006).
    \7\ In the 50 years since the Rule's adoption, marketers have 
come typically to advertise screen size based on a single-plane 
diagonal measurement of the screen's viewable portion. The 
Commission, infra, solicits comments and data on whether this 
practice is continuing with the relatively recently introduced 
curved display panel television sets.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Issues for Comment

    To aid commenters in submitting their comments, the Commission 
provides the following general regulatory review questions and specific 
questions related to the Picture Tube Rule. The Commission seeks 
comments on these and any other issues related to the Rule's current 
requirements. In their replies to each of these questions, commenters 
should provide any available evidence and data, such as empirical data, 
consumer perception studies, or consumer complaints, that support the 
positions asserted in their comments.

A. General Regulatory Review Questions

    (1) Need: Is there a continuing need for the Rule? Explain why or 
why not. Is there a need for a rule to address any unfair or deceptive 
acts or practices concerning television screen sizes or would case-by-
case enforcement be a better approach to addressing such practices?
    (2) Unnecessary Provisions: Are any specific provisions of the Rule 
no longer necessary? If so, identify these provisions and explain why 
they are unnecessary.
    (3) Benefits and Costs to Consumers: What benefits, if any, does 
the Rule provide to consumers, and does the Rule impose any significant 
costs on consumers?
    (4) Benefits and Costs to Industry Members: What benefits, if any, 
does the Rule provide to businesses, and does the Rule impose any 
significant costs, including compliance costs, on businesses, including 
small businesses?
    (5) Recommended Changes: What modifications, if any, should the 
Commission make to the Rule to increase its benefits or reduce its 
costs? Explain the specific modifications you propose and how they 
would affect the Rule's costs and benefits for consumers and 
businesses, particularly small businesses.
    (6) Impact on Information: What impact does the Rule have on the 
flow of truthful information to consumers and deceptive information to 
consumers?
    (7) Compliance: What is the degree of industry compliance with the 
Rule? Does this compliance level indicate that the Commission should 
modify the Rule? If so, explain why and how the Commission should do 
so.
    (8) Additional Unfair or Deceptive Practices: Are there unfair or 
deceptive practices not covered by the Rule occurring in the 
marketplace relating to the advertising and promotion of the viewable 
picture size of television set screens? If so: (a) Describe these 
practices and provide evidence of their existence; (b) state their 
prevalence; (c) state their impact on consumers; (d) explain what 
modifications the Commission should make to the Rule to eliminate such 
practices; and (e) explain how any modification would impact consumers 
and businesses, particularly small businesses.
    (9) Product Coverage: Should the Commission broaden the Rule to 
include products not currently covered? If so: (a) Identify these 
products; (b) describe the unfair or deceptive practices occurring 
regarding these products and provide evidence of these practices; (c) 
state the prevalence of these practices; (d) explain what modifications 
the Commission should make to the Rule to cover these practices; (e) 
explain how these modifications would eliminate these practices; and 
(f) explain how any modification would impact consumers and businesses, 
particularly small businesses.
    (10) Overlaps and Conflicts with, and Effects on, Other 
Requirements: Does the Rule overlap or conflict with other Federal, 
State, or local laws or regulations? If so: (a) Identify these laws or 
regulations; (b) describe how the Rule overlaps or conflicts; and (c) 
explain how the Commission should modify the Rule to eliminate or 
lessen such overlaps or conflicts. Additionally, are any modifications 
to the Rule necessary to assist state law enforcement agencies' efforts 
to combat deceptive or unfair practices in television set marketing? If 
so, explain what modifications the

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Commission should make to the Rule and how they will assist these 
agencies.

B. Specific Questions Related to the Picture Tube Rule

    (1) Consumer Understanding of Screen Measurements Generally: What 
understanding do consumers have regarding television screen dimensions 
stated in advertisements, e.g., do they think the dimensions are 
diagonal, horizontal, or vertical; single or multi-plane; include only 
the viewable screen area? Submit evidence supporting your position.
    (2) The Rule's Default Screen Measurement Method: Should the Rule's 
default television set screen measurement method change, e.g., to the 
diagonal single-plane measurement of the viewable portion of a screen? 
If so: (a) Explain how, and why, the default screen measurement method 
should change; (b) explain whether the Commission should continue to 
require that, when a screen dimension stated in advertising is based 
upon anything but the default measurement method, the method used must 
be disclosed clearly and conspicuously, and in close proximity, to the 
dimension; (c) submit evidence supporting your position; and (d) 
explain how the default screen measurement method that you proposed in 
response to (a), supra, would impact consumers and businesses, 
particularly small businesses.
    (3) Curved Display Screens: Note 1 to the Rule directs that the 
viewable picture size of television set screens be measured on a 
single-plane basis, not taking into account any screen curvature. When 
the Commission originally promulgated this provision, television sets 
used cathode ray tubes with curved display screens. Today, television 
sets generally incorporate plasma, LED, OLED, and similar flat display 
screens, though some television sets have concave display screens. (a) 
Do consumers understand that stated dimensions are based on a single-
plane measurement that does not include curvature in the screen? Submit 
evidence supporting your position. (b) Does the use of curved screens 
affect how manufacturers and marketers measure and promote the viewable 
screen size of television sets? If so: (1) Identify and explain these 
effects; (2) explain how, if at all, the Commission should modify the 
Rule to address these effects; and (3) explain how any modification 
would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses.
    (4) Measurement Reporting Tolerances and Rounding: The Rule does 
not address how to disclose the viewable screen size of television sets 
that do not, consistent with Note 2, measure precisely to an inch or 
100th of a centimeter measurement. In 2008, industry requested staff 
guidance on rounding because promotional material measurements were 
often off by up to \1/2\-inch to avoid waste in cutting glass from 
standard sheets. Staff advised, with the caveat that it did not speak 
for the Commission, that it was unlikely to recommend enforcement 
action based on an up to \1/2\-inch discrepancy, as long as marketers 
make clear that the larger number represents a class size and state the 
actual screen measurement, clearly and conspicuously, and in close 
proximity to the class size representation, e.g., 32'' Class, 31.75'' 
actual measurement. Explain: (a) How, if at all, the Commission should 
modify the Rule to address this issue; and (b) how any modification 
would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses.
    (5) Aspect Ratios: Some television sets have viewing screens with a 
16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio rather than 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio. Do different 
aspect ratios affect how manufacturers and marketers measure and 
promote the viewable screen size of television sets? If so: (a) 
Identify how different aspect ratios change screen measurement and 
television set marketing; (b) explain how, if at all, the Commission 
should modify the Rule to address this issue; and (c) explain how any 
modification would impact consumers and businesses, particularly small 
businesses.
    (6) Technological or Economic Changes: Should the Commission 
otherwise modify the Rule to account for current or impending changes 
in technology or economic conditions that may affect television sets? 
If so: (a) Identify these changes; (b) explain how, if at all, the 
Commission should modify the Rule to address this issue; and (c) 
explain how any modifications would impact consumers and businesses, 
particularly small businesses.

IV. Request for Comment

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 31, 2017. 
Write ``16 CFR part 410--Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200'' 
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/policy/public-comments.
    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/picturetuberule, by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If this Notice appears at https://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you 
also may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``16 CFR part 
410--Picture Tube Rule Review, File No. P174200'' on your comment and 
on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your 
paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible FTC 
Web site at https://www.ftc.gov, you are solely responsible for making 
sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential 
information. In particular, your comment should not include any 
sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else'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, such as medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment 
should not include any ``trade secret or any commercial or financial 
information which . . . is privileged or confidential''--as provided by 
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)--including in particular competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    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).

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In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that 
accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for 
the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to 
be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment 
will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your 
request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your 
comment has been posted on the public FTC Web site--as legally required 
by FTC Rule 4.9(b)--we cannot redact or remove your comment from the 
FTC Web site, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets 
the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the 
General Counsel grants that request.
    Visit the FTC Web site to read this Notice and the news release 
describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that 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 on or before 
August 31, 2017. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-13476 Filed 6-27-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P