[Billing Code: 6750-01]
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
GUIDES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE INDUSTRY
AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.
ACTION: Request for public comments
SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission ("Commission") requests public comments about the overall costs and benefits and the continuing need for its Guides for the Household Furniture Industry ("the Household Furniture Guides" or "the Guides"), as part of the Commission's systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guides.
DATES: Written comments will be accepted until [60 days from the date of publication in Federal Register].
ADDRESS: Comments should be directed to: Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments should be identified as "Household Furniture Industry Guides, 16 CFR Part 250 - Comment."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ingrid Whittaker-Ware, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission, Southeast Region, 60 Forsyth Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, telephone number (404)656-1364, E-mail address: "Furniture@FTC.gov".
The Commission promulgated the Guides for the Household Furniture Industry on December 21, 1973, 38 FR 34992 (1973), under the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. 41-58.(1) The Guides became effective on March 21, 1974. Prior to promulgating the Guides, the Commission released proposed Guides to allow interested or affected parties an opportunity to inform the Commission of their views, suggestions, objections, or other information regarding the proposed Guides. Based on this information, the Commission determined that it was in the public interest to offer guidance to the industry thereby promoting a higher level of compliance with the laws administered by the Commission by adopting the Guides. The Guides are voluntary guidelines containing interpretations of acts or practices that the Commission has issued to assist members of the industry in complying with Section 5 of the FTC Act.
The Furniture Guides generally advise members of the industry to make affirmative disclosures for the benefit of consumers to ensure that the prospective purchaser is not misled into thinking that the product is different from that which is actually offered, because of the appearance, description, depictions or representations made about the product, in advertising, labeling or other promotional materials. The Guides also advise that advertisers making representations concerning (a) tests made on products, or (b) the performance characteristics of upholstery fabrics do in fact have a "reasonable basis" for such representations. Further, the guides also inform advertisers that the Commission may require documentation from them to substantiate their representations concerning the product. The Guides also provide several definitions for the industry, including definitions regarding certain types of wood. In summary, the Guides for the Household Furniture Industry, 16 CFR Part 250, advise members of the industry to:
The Commission has determined to review all current Commission rules and guides periodically. These reviews seek information about the costs and benefits of the Commission's rules and guides and their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained assists the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or recission. Therefore, the Commission solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact of and the continuing need for the Household Furniture Industry Guides; possible conflict between the Guides and state, local or other federal laws; and the effect on the Guides of any technological, economic, or other industry changes.
The Commission solicits written public comments on the following questions:
List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 250: Forest and Forest Products, Furniture Industry, Trade Practices.
Authority: 15 U.S.C. 41-58
By direction of the Commission.
1. The FTC Act makes it unlawful for one to engage in "unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce."