ICP Construction Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 32820-32822 [2017-14974]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 32820 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 136 / Tuesday, July 18, 2017 / Notices This matter involves respondent’s marketing, sale, and distribution of purportedly ‘‘emission-free’’ paints. Emission is any compound emitted from paint during application or thereafter and includes volatile organic compounds (or VOCs). According to the FTC complaint, respondent made unsubstantiated representations that Natura paints: (1) Are emission-free; (2) are emission-free during or immediately after painting; (3) will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, that causes material harm to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies and allergy and asthma sufferers; and (4) will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, during or immediately after painting, that causes material harm to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies and allergy and asthma sufferers. The FTC also alleges that respondent used its Green Promise seal without adequately disclosing that respondent awarded the seal to its own product. Consumers likely interpret such seals as a claim that an independent third party certified the product. The FTC further alleges that respondent provided independent retailers with promotional materials containing the same claims it made to consumers. Thus, the complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The proposed consent order contains five provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I prohibits emission-free and VOC-free claims unless both content and emission are actually zero or at trace levels. The orders define ‘‘emission’’ to include all emissions (not just VOCs that cause smog). This definition reflects the Commission’s Enforcement Policy Statement and consumer expectations: Consumers are likely concerned about the potential health effects from exposure to chemical emissions found in indoor air, not just VOCs that affect outdoor air quality. The order defines ‘‘trace level of emission’’ to mean (1) no intentionally added VOC, (2) emission of the covered product does not cause material harm that consumers typically associate with emission, including harm to the environment or human health, and (3) emission of the covered product does not result in more than harmless concentrations of any compound higher than would be found under normal conditions in the typical residential home without interior architectural coating. Part II prohibits misleading representations regarding emission, VOC levels, odor, and any general VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 environmental and health benefit of paints. The order requires competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate these representations. Parts IV and V prohibit respondent from misrepresenting third-party certifications and failing to adequately disclose a material connection. Part VI prohibits respondent from providing third parties with the means and instrumentalities to make false, unsubstantiated, or otherwise misleading representations of material fact regarding paints, including any representation prohibited by Parts I, II, IV or V. To correct allegedly existing unsubstantiated zero emission and VOC claims and deceptive certification claims, Part III requires the respondent to send letters to its dealers and distributors, instructing them to place placards next to paint cans and at point of sale. Parts VII through XI are reporting and compliance provisions. Part VII mandates that respondent acknowledge receipt of the order, distribute the order to certain employees and agents, and secure acknowledgments from recipients of the order. Part VIII requires that respondent submit compliance reports to the FTC within sixty (60) days of the order’s issuance and submit additional reports when certain events occur. Part IX requires that respondent must create and retain certain records for five (5) years. Part X provides for the FTC’s continued compliance monitoring of respondent’s activity during the order’s effective dates. Part XI is a provision ‘‘sunsetting’’ the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions. If the Commission finalizes the agreement’s proposed order, it plans to propose harmonizing with this order the consent orders issued in the PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (Docket No. C–4385) and The Sherwin-Williams Company (Docket No. C–4386) matters. Specifically, the Commission plans to issue orders to show cause why those matters should not be modified pursuant to Section 3.72(b) of the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 3.72(b). The purpose of the analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–14972 Filed 7–17–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 162 3081] ICP Construction Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. 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. DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 10, 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: ‘‘In the Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162–3081’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ icpconstructionconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162–3081’’ 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 D), 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 D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Gray (202–326–3408), Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18JYN1.SGM 18JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 136 / Tuesday, July 18, 2017 / Notices package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for July 11, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/commissionactions. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 10, 2017. Write ‘‘In the Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162–3081’’ 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/ icpconstructionconsent 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 prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162–3081’’ 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 D), 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 D), 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 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). 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 at http:// www.ftc.gov 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 10, 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. 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 ICP Construction Inc., formerly known as California Products Corp., d/b/a/Muralo Paints, a corporation (‘‘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 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32821 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 respondent’s marketing, sale, and distribution of purportedly ‘‘VOC-free’’ paints. ‘‘VOC’’ is the abbreviation for volatile organic compounds. VOC-free includes claims such as ‘‘zero VOCs,’’ ‘‘0 VOCs,’’ and ‘‘No VOCs.’’ According to the FTC complaint, respondent made unsubstantiated representations that its paints: (1) Are VOC-free; (2) are VOCfree during or immediately after painting; (3) will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, that causes material harm to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies; and (4) will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, during or immediately after painting, that causes material harm to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies. The FTC also alleges that respondent used its ECO ASSURANCE seal without adequately disclosing that respondent awarded the seal to its own product. Consumers likely interpret the seal as a claim that an independent third party certified the product. The FTC further alleges that respondent provided independent retailers with promotional materials containing the same claims it made to consumers. Thus, the complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The proposed consent order contains five provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I prohibits emission-free and VOC-free claims unless both content and emission are actually zero or at trace level. The orders define ‘‘emission’’ to include all emissions (not just VOC that causes smog). This definition reflects the Commission’s Enforcement Policy Statement and consumer expectations: Consumers are likely concerned about the potential health effects from exposure to chemical emission found in indoor air, not just VOC that affect outdoor air quality. The order defines ‘‘trace level of emission’’ to mean (1) no intentionally added VOC, (2) emission of the covered product does not cause material harm that consumers typically associate with emission, including harm to the environment or human health, and (3) emission of the covered product does not result in more than harmless concentrations of any compound higher than would be found under normal conditions in the typical residential home without interior architectural coating. Part II prohibits misleading E:\FR\FM\18JYN1.SGM 18JYN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 32822 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 136 / Tuesday, July 18, 2017 / Notices representations regarding emission, VOC level, odor, and any general environmental and health benefit of paints. The order requires competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate these representations. Parts IV and V prohibit respondent from misrepresenting third-party certifications and failing to adequately disclose a material connection. Part VI prohibits respondent from providing third parties with the means and instrumentalities to make false, unsubstantiated, or otherwise misleading representations of material fact regarding paints, including any representation prohibited by Parts I, II, IV, or V. To correct existing unsubstantiated zero-VOC claims and deceptive certification claims, Part III requires the respondent to send letters to its dealers and distributors, instructing them to post placards next to paint cans and at point of sale. Parts VII through XI are reporting and compliance provisions. Part VII mandates that respondent acknowledge receipt of the order, distribute the order to certain employees and agents, and secure acknowledgments from recipients of the order. Part VIII requires that respondent submit compliance reports to the FTC within sixty (60) days of the order’s issuance and submit additional reports when certain events occur. Part IX requires that respondent must create and retain certain records for five (5) years. Part X provides for the FTC’s continued compliance monitoring of respondent’s activity during the order’s effective dates. Part XI is a provision ‘‘sunsetting’’ the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions. If the Commission finalizes the agreement’s proposed order, it plans to propose harmonizing with this order the consent orders issued in the PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (Docket No. C–4385) and The Sherwin-Williams Company (Docket No. C–4386) matters. Specifically, the Commission plans to issue orders to show cause why those matters should not be modified pursuant to Section 3.72(b) of the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 3.72(b). The purpose of the analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2017–14974 Filed 7–17–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Jul 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 162 3080] Imperial Paints, LLC; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. 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. DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 10, 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: ‘‘In the Matter of Imperial Paints, LLC, File No. 1623080’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ ftc/imperialpaintsconsent by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of Imperial Paints, LLC, File No. 1623080’’ 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 D), 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 D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alejandro Rosenberg (202–326–2698), Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Home Page (for July 11, 2017), on the World Wide Web, at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/commissionactions. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 10, 2017. Write ‘‘In the Matter of Imperial Paints, LLC, File No. 1623080’’ 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/ imperialpaintsconsent 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 prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘In the Matter of Imperial Paints, LLC, File No. 1623080’’ 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 D), 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 D), 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 E:\FR\FM\18JYN1.SGM 18JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 136 (Tuesday, July 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32820-32822]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14974]


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

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 162 3081]


ICP Construction Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

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. 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.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 10, 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: ``In the Matter of ICP 
Construction Inc., File No. 162-3081'' on your comment, and file your 
comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/icpconstructionconsent by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``In the 
Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162-3081'' 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 D), 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 D), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Gray (202-326-3408), Bureau of 
Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 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

[[Page 32821]]

package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for July 11, 2017), on 
the World Wide Web, at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 10, 2017. 
Write ``In the Matter of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162-3081'' 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/icpconstructionconsent 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 prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``In the Matter 
of ICP Construction Inc., File No. 162-3081'' 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 D), 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 D), 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). 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 at http://www.ftc.gov 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 10, 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.

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 ICP Construction Inc., formerly known as California Products 
Corp., d/b/a/Muralo Paints, a corporation (``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 or make final the agreement's proposed 
order.
    This matter involves respondent's marketing, sale, and distribution 
of purportedly ``VOC-free'' paints. ``VOC'' is the abbreviation for 
volatile organic compounds. VOC-free includes claims such as ``zero 
VOCs,'' ``0 VOCs,'' and ``No VOCs.'' According to the FTC complaint, 
respondent made unsubstantiated representations that its paints: (1) 
Are VOC-free; (2) are VOC-free during or immediately after painting; 
(3) will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, that 
causes material harm to consumers, including sensitive populations such 
as babies; and (4) will not emit any chemical or substance, including 
VOCs, during or immediately after painting, that causes material harm 
to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies. The FTC 
also alleges that respondent used its ECO ASSURANCE seal without 
adequately disclosing that respondent awarded the seal to its own 
product. Consumers likely interpret the seal as a claim that an 
independent third party certified the product. The FTC further alleges 
that respondent provided independent retailers with promotional 
materials containing the same claims it made to consumers. Thus, the 
complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive practices in 
violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.
    The proposed consent order contains five provisions designed to 
prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the 
future. Part I prohibits emission-free and VOC-free claims unless both 
content and emission are actually zero or at trace level. The orders 
define ``emission'' to include all emissions (not just VOC that causes 
smog). This definition reflects the Commission's Enforcement Policy 
Statement and consumer expectations: Consumers are likely concerned 
about the potential health effects from exposure to chemical emission 
found in indoor air, not just VOC that affect outdoor air quality. The 
order defines ``trace level of emission'' to mean (1) no intentionally 
added VOC, (2) emission of the covered product does not cause material 
harm that consumers typically associate with emission, including harm 
to the environment or human health, and (3) emission of the covered 
product does not result in more than harmless concentrations of any 
compound higher than would be found under normal conditions in the 
typical residential home without interior architectural coating. Part 
II prohibits misleading

[[Page 32822]]

representations regarding emission, VOC level, odor, and any general 
environmental and health benefit of paints. The order requires 
competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate these 
representations. Parts IV and V prohibit respondent from 
misrepresenting third-party certifications and failing to adequately 
disclose a material connection. Part VI prohibits respondent from 
providing third parties with the means and instrumentalities to make 
false, unsubstantiated, or otherwise misleading representations of 
material fact regarding paints, including any representation prohibited 
by Parts I, II, IV, or V.
    To correct existing unsubstantiated zero-VOC claims and deceptive 
certification claims, Part III requires the respondent to send letters 
to its dealers and distributors, instructing them to post placards next 
to paint cans and at point of sale.
    Parts VII through XI are reporting and compliance provisions. Part 
VII mandates that respondent acknowledge receipt of the order, 
distribute the order to certain employees and agents, and secure 
acknowledgments from recipients of the order. Part VIII requires that 
respondent submit compliance reports to the FTC within sixty (60) days 
of the order's issuance and submit additional reports when certain 
events occur. Part IX requires that respondent must create and retain 
certain records for five (5) years. Part X provides for the FTC's 
continued compliance monitoring of respondent's activity during the 
order's effective dates. Part XI is a provision ``sunsetting'' the 
order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.
    If the Commission finalizes the agreement's proposed order, it 
plans to propose harmonizing with this order the consent orders issued 
in the PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. (Docket No. C-4385) and The 
Sherwin-Williams Company (Docket No. C-4386) matters. Specifically, the 
Commission plans to issue orders to show cause why those matters should 
not be modified pursuant to Section 3.72(b) of the Commission Rules of 
Practice, 16 CFR 3.72(b).
    The purpose of the analysis is to aid public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the proposed order or to modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-14974 Filed 7-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P