UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

In the Matter of

CONTINENTAL GOWN CLEANING SERVICE, INC., NATIONWIDE GOWN CLEANING SERVICE, INC., PRESTIGE GOWN CLEANING SERVICE, INC., also doing business as PRESTIGE GOWN SERVICE, INC., GOWN CLEANING SERVICE, INC., and JONATHAN ASHLEY, LTD., corporations, and LEWIS WEISSMAN and GARY MARCUS, individually and as officers of the corporations.

DOCKET NO. 9287

COMPLAINT

The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc. (also doing business as Prestige Gown Service, Inc.), Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., corporations, and Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, individually and as officers of the corporations ("respondents"), have violated the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and it appearing to the Commission that this proceeding is in the public interest, alleges:

1. Respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc. (also doing business as Prestige Gown Service, Inc.), Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., are New York corporations with their principal offices or places of business at 189-07 Union Turnpike, Flushing, New York 11366.

2. Respondent Lewis Weissman is an officer of the corporate respondents. Individually or in concert with others, he formulates, directs, controls, or participates in the policies, acts, or practices of the corporations, including the acts or practices alleged in this complaint. His principal office or place of business is the same as that of the corporate respondents.

3. Respondent Gary Marcus is an officer of the corporate respondents. Individually or in concert with others, he formulates, directs, or controls the policies, acts, or practices of the corporations, including the acts or practices alleged in this complaint. His principal office or place of business is the same as that of the corporate respondents.

4. Respondents have advertised, offered for sale, and sold to the public a drycleaning service for the cleaning and preservation of wedding gowns and other formal wear by use of a process referred to by respondents as the "Zurcion Method." No cleaners other than respondents offer to the public a cleaning process referred to as the "Zurcion Method."

5. The acts and practices of respondents alleged in this complaint have been in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

6. The Commission's Trade Regulation Rule Concerning the Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel ("Care Labeling Rule" or "Rule"), 16 C.F.R. Part 423, promulgated by the Commission on December 9, 1971, was amended by the Commission in 1983 under Section 18 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The amended Rule became effective on January 2, 1984, and since that date has remained in full force and effect. The Care Labeling Rule requires that manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel attach care labels to such apparel that is offered for sale to consumers.

7. In connection with the advertising, offering for sale, and sale of respondents' drycleaning service, respondents have provided, to manufacturers or importers of wedding gowns and other formal wear, care labels to be affixed to such garments. These manufacturers and importers include, but are not limited to, Mori Lee, Inc., Ilissa Bridals, Ltd., and Alyce Designs, Inc. One or more of these care labels have been used by these companies. The care labels provided by respondents to such manufacturers and importers contain the following statements:

A. "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method, Prestige, 1-800-292-GOWN, Manufacturers Guaranteed Processing."

B. "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method, Nation-wide, 1-800-242-GOWN guarantee processing."

C. "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method Continental 1-800-441-GOWN Made in U.S.A."

D. "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method Continental 1-800-441-GOWN Manufacturers Guaranteed Processing."

8. The care labels described in Paragraph 7 do not comply with the requirements of the Care Labeling Rule for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

A. Section 423.6(b)(2)(i) of the Rule requires: "If a drycleaning instruction is included on the label, it must also state at least one type of solvent that may be used. However, if all commercially available types of solvent can be used, the label need not mention any types of solvent." The care labels provided by respondents contain a drycleaning instruction but fail to state at least one type of solvent that may be used on the garment. Typically, the care labels provided by respondents were intended for and have been affixed to garments on which all commercially available types of solvents cannot be used without damage to the garment, which means the label must state a type of solvent that can be used without damage. The use of these labels on such garments by manufacturers or importers constitutes a violation of this section of the Rule.

B. Section 423.6(b)(2)(ii) of the Rule requires: "If there is any part of the drycleaning procedure which consumers or drycleaners can reasonably be expected to use that would harm the product..., the label must contain a warning to this effect." The care labels provided by respondents contain a drycleaning instruction but fail to provide warnings (e.g., "short cycle" or "cabinet dry cool") against parts of the normal drycleaning procedure that might harm the types of garments for which these labels were provided. The use of these labels on such garments by manufacturers or importers constitutes a violation of this section of the Rule.

C. Section 423.6(c) of the Rule requires that a manufacturer or importer "establish a reasonable basis for care information" on labels attached to its garments. A reasonable basis must include "reliable evidence that the product...was harmed when cleaned by methods warned against on the label." The care labels provided by respondents, which state "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method," were used by various manufacturers or importers of wedding gowns and other formal wear, including, but not limited to, Mori Lee, Inc., Ilissa Bridals, Ltd., and Alyce Designs, Inc., who did not possess reliable evidence that all cleaning methods other than that used by respondents would harm the garments to which respondents' care labels were attached. The use of these labels on such garments constitutes a violation of this section of the Rule.

9. Through the means described in Paragraph 7, respondents have furnished manufacturers or importers of wedding gowns and other formal wear with the means and instrumentalities to engage in violations of the Care Labeling Rule, as described in Paragraph 8. Pursuant to Section 18(d)(3) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, a violation of the Care Labeling Rule constitutes a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

10. In connection with the distribution of the care labels described in Paragraph 7 to manufacturers or importers of wedding gowns and other formal wear, and in connection with the marketing of their cleaning and preservation services to consumers, respondents have disseminated or have caused to be disseminated promotional materials for the Zurcion Method, including but not necessarily limited to the attached Exhibits A through F. These materials contain the following statements:

A. THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION'S CARE LABELING RULE STATES THAT A MANUFACTURER MUST SEW IN OR AFFIX A LABEL INSIDE THE GARMENT GIVING CARE INSTRUCTIONS ON A PERMANENT LABEL THAT WILL ALLOW THE CONSUMER TO HAVE "ORDINARY USE AND ENJOYMENT" OF THE ARTICLE.

THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION RULE ALSO STATES THAT THERE MUST BE AT LEAST ONE METHOD OF CARE PROCEDURES THAT IS DESCRIBED ON THE AFFIXED CARE LABEL. THIS IS FOR THE DRYCLEANER OR FOR THE PERSON THAT IS SERVICING THE ARTICLE, SO THAT THE ARTICLE WILL RECEIVE THE PROPER CARE AND TREATMENT FOR WEAR OR FOR PURPOSES OF STORAGE.

THE ZURCION* METHOD IS A METHOD THAT IS WIDELY USED BY THE BRIDAL AND FORMAL WEAR INDUSTRY. THIS TYPE OF PROCESSING IS A SPECIALIZED METHOD WHICH REGULAR DRYCLEANERS CANNOT USE FOR REGULAR GARMENT CARE, FOR SEVERAL REASONS WHICH ARE 1) SPECIALIZED PROCESSING EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR ZURCION SOLVENTS 2)-SOLVENT COST FACTOR (SOLVENT MADE FROM PURE CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS NOT INDUSTRIAL) 3)-SPECIAL TRAINING NEEDED TO HANDLE ZURCION FLUIDS 4)-NOT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL DRYCLEANER ONLY TO OUR COMPANY.

THE CARE LABELING INSTRUCTIONS IN EVERY GARMENT HAVE TO BE FOLLOWED AS FAR AS CARE PROCEDURES ARE CONCERNED ACCORDING TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, THEREFORE IF A GOWN HAS THE LABEL AFFIXED THAT STATES DRYCLEAN BY ZURCION METHOD, THE CLEANER IS COMPELLED TO CLEAN AND SERVICE THE GOWN AS STATED BY THE MANUFACTURER. IF THE CLEANER IGNORES THE CARE LABEL OR SERVICES THE GOWN BY REGULAR DRYCLEANING PROCEDURES HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT EVER DAMAGE IS INCURRED BY HIS METHODS.

SUMMARY IF FOR ANY REASON A GOWN IS DAMAGED BY A DRYCLEANER WITH THE ZURCION LABEL AFFIXED IN THE GOWN DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT OUR COMPANY. WE WILL SUPPLY YOU WITH A FACT SHEET FROM OUR COMPANY AND THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION EXPLAINING THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION'S LABELING ACT, AND IF THE ARTICLE SHOULD NEED ANALYSIS WE WILL SUPPLY YOU WITH A COMPLETE ANALYSIS REPORT.

CONCLUSION- IF ANY CLEANER CLEANS A WEDDING OR EVENING GOWN WITH ANY OTHER METHOD THAN THE ONE DESCRIBED HE (THE CLEANER) RUNS THE RISK OF DAMAGING THE GOWN AND HAS TO BY LAW COMPENSATE FOR THE DAMAGE OR LOSS OF THAT ARTICLE.

-------REMEMBER-------

ZURCION - IT’S GUARANTEED

*PATENTED METHOD (Exhibit A).

B. FROM THE CONSUMER PROTECTION DIVISION:

* WARNING * WARNING * WARNING * WARNING * WARNING *

BEWARE * BEWARE * BEWARE * BEWARE *

PLEASE BEWARE OF FALSE ADVERTISEMENTS AND MISLEADING STATEMENTS MADE BY OTHER GOWN CLEANING AND PRESERVATION SERVICES:

AT NATIONWIDE GOWN CLEANING SERVICE, WE ARE THE SPECIALISTS OF THE BRIDAL AND FORMAL WEAR INDUSTRY. WE ARE THE ONLY GOWN CLEANING COMPANY THAT IS RECOMMENDED BY 54 OF THE WORLDS [sic] LARGEST BRIDAL GOWN AND FORMAL WEAR MANUFACTURERS. NO OTHER CLEANER OR SO CALLED SPECIALIST CAN MAKE THIS STATEMENT.

. . .

DON'T BE MISLEAD [sic] BY DRYCLEANERS WHO CLAIM TO HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF CLEANING YOUR FINE APPAREL. ONLY SEND YOUR FINE APPAREL TO THE ONE PLACE THAT HAS PROVEN TO LIVE UP TO IT'S [sic] RELIABLE REPUTATION.

DON'T BE MISLEAD [sic] BY PRICE - REMEMBER THE SAYING "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR". TRUST YOUR FINE APPAREL TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE KNOW-HOW ON CLEANING YOUR WEDDING GOWN AND/OR FORMAL WEAR.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE CARE LABEL INSTRUCTION INSIDE YOUR GARMENTS. (Exhibit B).

C. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE REGULAR DRY-CLEANERS THAT TRY TO IMITATE OUR SERVICE, BUT THEY CAN NOT IMITATE OUR ZURCION PROCESS OR METHOD. BEWARE OF THE SO CALLED GOWN SPECIALIST, IT COULD PROVE TO BE DISASTROUS.

CONTINENTAL IS THE ONLY GOWN CLEANING AND PRESERVATION SERVICE TO BE RECOMMEND [sic] BY OVER 80% OF THE BRIDAL AND FORMAL WEAR INDUSTRY BY USING THE PATENTED ZURCION METHOD. (Exhibit C).

D. There is only one cleaning method that has proven to be safe on all gowns and formal wear. It's the ZURCION METHOD, 71 bridal and formal wear manufactures [sic] can't be wrong. (Exhibit D).

E. THE TRUE FACTS ABOUT ZURCION

SPECIAL REPORT

. . .

FACT: ZURCION IS THE SAFEST METHOD THAT IS USED TODAY FOR CLEANING AND PROCESSING GOWNS AND FORMAL WEAR.

. . .

FACT: NATIONWIDE IS THE ONLY GOWN CLEANER IN THE UNITED STATES THAT ONLY PROCESS [sic] GOWNS AND FORMAL WEAR, SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS A SPECIALIZED ITEM THAT SHOULD BE PROCESSED BY A SPECIALIZED COMPANY WITH A SPECIALIZED METHOD (ZURCION).

FACT: DON'T BE FOOLED BY CON ARTISTS THAT TELL YOU THEY HAVE A SPECIAL PROCESS CALLED WETCLEANING. THE DEFINITION OF WETCLEANING IS TO WASH AS PRESCRIBED IN SOAP AND WATER. BEWARE OF THESE CLAIMS THEY ARE GRABBING FOR STRAWS. (Exhibit E).

F. OUR PRESERVATION PROCESS IS SO UNIQUE, WE OFFER A GUARANTEE THAT YOUR GOWN WILL BE AS FRESH AND LOVELY ON HER WEDDING DAY AS IT WAS ON YOURS....

REMEMBER, WE GUARANTEE THE PROCESS. (Exhibit F).

11. Through the means described in Paragraph 10, including but not necessarily limited to Exhibit A, respondents have represented, expressly or by implication, that the labels described in Paragraph 7 comply with the requirements of the Care Labeling Rule.

12. For the reasons set forth in Paragraph 8, the labels distributed by respondents are in violation of the requirements of the Care Labeling Rule. Therefore, the representation set forth in Paragraph 11 was and is false or misleading.

13. Through the means described in Paragraphs 7 and 10, respondents have represented, expressly or by implication, that:

A. The Zurcion Method is patented.

B. The Zurcion Method is the only safe and effective method for cleaning and preserving wedding gowns and other formal wear, including but not limited to those garments to which the labels described in Paragraph 7 are attached.

C. Respondents are the only cleaners that are capable of providing safe and effective cleaning and preservation of wedding gowns and other formal wear, including but not limited to those garments to which the labels described in Paragraph 7 are attached.

14. In truth and in fact:

A. The Zurcion Method is not patented.

B. The Zurcion Method is not the only safe and effective method for cleaning and preserving wedding gowns and other formal wear, including but not limited to those garments to which the labels described in Paragraph 7 are attached.

C. Respondents are not the only cleaners that are capable of providing safe and effective cleaning and preservation of wedding gowns and other formal wear, including but not limited to those garments to which the labels described in Paragraph 7 are attached.

Therefore, the representations set forth in Paragraph 13 were, and are, false or misleading.

15. Through the means described in Paragraphs 7 and 10, respondents have represented, expressly or by implication, that they possessed and relied upon a reasonable basis that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraphs 11 and 13, at the time the representations were made.

16. In truth and in fact, respondents did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis that substantiated the representations set forth in Paragraphs 11 and 13, at the time the representations were made. Therefore, the representation set forth in Paragraph 15 was, and is, false or misleading.

17. In connection with the marketing of their cleaning and preservation services to consumers, respondents have disseminated or have caused to be disseminated promotional materials for the Zurcion method, including but not necessarily limited to the attached Exhibits F through H. These materials contain the following statements:

A. Our preservation process is so unique, we offer a guarantee that your gown will be as fresh and lovely on her wedding day as it was on yours....

Remember, We Guarantee the Process. (Exhibit F).

B. But Continental has a No-Fault Cleaning Process that absolutely GUARANTEES the processing of gowns. . . .

Continental cleans thousands of gowns every month and we have NEVER ruined one! (Exhibit G).

C. Remember, We Guarantee the Process. (Exhibit H).

18. Through the means described in paragraph 17, respondents have represented, expressly or by implication, that there are no material limitations or conditions that apply to respondents’ guarantee of the Zurcion process. In truth and in fact, a consumer who has sent a garment to respondents for cleaning and preservation cannot examine the garment to determine whether it has been satisfactorily cleaned and preserved because the garment is returned to the consumer in a sealed container with a printed warranty that includes a warning to the consumer not to break the seal or the container in any manner. The warranty further states that if the garment is to be reused, it must first be returned to respondents, in its sealed container, so that respondents can "unpreserve" the garment and that failure to adhere to these instructions will invalidate respondents' warranty of their service. Thus, the consumer cannot examine the garment serviced by respondents to determine whether the garment has been satisfactorily cleaned, and cannot reuse the garment, without first returning the garment for further processing by the respondents. Respondents have failed to disclose these conditions or limitations to consumers in promotional materials. These facts would be material to consumers in their purchase of respondents' cleaning and preservation service. The failure to disclose these facts, in light of the representations made, was, and is, a deceptive practice.

19. The acts and practices of respondents as alleged in this complaint constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

NOTICE

Notice is hereby given to each of the respondents hereinbefore named that June 24, 1998, at 10:00 o’clock A.M., or such later date as determined by an Administrative Law Judge of the Federal Trade Commission, is hereby fixed as the time and Federal Trade Commission, 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580 as the place when and where a hearing will be had before an Administrative Law Judge, on the charges set forth in this complaint, at which time and place you will have the right under said Act to appear and show cause why an order should not be entered requiring you to cease and desist from the violations of law charged in the complaint.

You are notified that the opportunity is afforded you to file with the Commission an answer to this complaint on or before the twentieth (20th) day after service of it upon you. An answer in which the allegations of the complaint are contested shall contain a concise statement of the facts constituting each ground of defense; and specific admission, denial, or explanation of each fact alleged in the complaint or, if you are without knowledge thereof, a statement to that effect. Allegations of the complaint not thus answered shall be deemed to have been admitted.

If you elect not to contest the allegations of fact set forth in the complaint, the answer shall consist of a statement that you admit all of the material allegations to be true. Such an answer shall constitute a waiver of hearings as to the facts alleged in the complaint, and together with the complaint will provide a record basis on which the Administrative Law Judge shall file an initial decision containing an appropriate order disposing of the proceeding. In such answer you may, however, reserve the right to submit proposed findings and conclusions and the right to appeal the initial decision to the Commission under Section 3.52 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice for Adjudicative Proceedings.

Failure to answer within the time above provided shall be deemed to constitute a waiver of your right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and shall authorize the Administrative Law Judge, without further notice to you, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and to enter an initial decision containing such findings, appropriate conclusions and order.

The following is the form of order which the Commission has reason to believe should issue if the facts are found to be as alleged in the complaint. If, however, the Commission should conclude from the record facts developed in any adjudicative proceedings in this matter that the proposed order provisions as to Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc. (also doing business as Prestige Gown Service, Inc.), Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., corporations, and Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, individually and as officers of the corporations, might be inadequate to fully protect the consuming public, the Commission may order such other relief as it finds necessary or appropriate.

Moreover, the Commission has reason to believe that, if the facts are found as alleged in the complaint, it may be necessary and appropriate for the Commission to seek relief to redress injury to consumers, or other persons, partnerships or corporations, in the form of restitution and refunds for past, present, and future consumers and such other types of relief as are set forth in 19(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Commission will determine whether to apply to a court for such relief on the basis of the adjudicative proceedings in this matter and such other factors as are relevant to consider the necessity and appropriateness of such action.

ORDER

DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this order, the following definitions shall apply:

1. "Care Labeling Rule" shall mean the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning the Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel, 16 C.F.R. Part 423, or as the Rule may hereafter be amended.

2. "Competent and reliable scientific evidence" shall mean tests, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, that has been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.

3. Unless otherwise specified, "respondents" shall mean Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc. (also doing business as Prestige Gown Service, Inc.), Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., corporations, their successors and assigns and their officers; Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, individually and as officers of the corporations; and each of the above's agents, representatives and employees.

4. "Commerce" shall mean commerce as defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 44.

5. "Clearly and prominently" shall mean as follows:

A. In an advertisement communicated through an electronic medium (such as television, video, radio, and interactive media such as the Internet and online services), the disclosure shall be presented simultaneously in both the audio and video portions of the advertisement. Provided, however, that in any advertisement presented solely through video or audio means, the disclosure may be made through the same means in which the ad is presented. The audio disclosure shall be delivered in a volume and cadence sufficient for an ordinary consumer to hear and comprehend it. The video disclosure shall be of a size and shade, and shall appear on the screen for a duration, sufficient for an ordinary consumer to read and comprehend it. In addition to the foregoing, in interactive media the disclosure shall also be unavoidable and shall be presented prior to the consumer incurring any financial obligation.

B. In a print advertisement, promotional material, or instructional manual, the disclosure shall be in a type size and location sufficiently noticeable for an ordinary consumer to read and comprehend it, in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears. In multipage documents, the disclosure shall appear on the cover or first page.

C. On a product label, the disclosure shall be in a type size and location on the principal display panel sufficiently noticeable for an ordinary consumer to read and comprehend it, in print that contrasts with the background against which it appears.

The disclosure shall be in understandable language and syntax. Nothing contrary to, inconsistent with, or in mitigation of the disclosure shall be used in any advertisement or on any label.

I.

IT IS ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any garment cleaning method, service, or product in or affecting commerce, shall not provide to manufacturers or importers of textile wearing apparel subject to the Commission’s Care Labeling Rule, the means and instrumentalities to violate the Care Labeling Rule.

II.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any garment cleaning method, service, or product in or affecting commerce, shall not make any misrepresentations regarding the Care Labeling Rule or compliance with the Care Labeling Rule.

III.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any garment cleaning or preservation method, service, or product in or affecting commerce, shall not provide any labels or tags of any type to manufacturers or importers of textile wearing apparel or to retail or wholesale stores that sell textile wearing apparel. For purposes of this Part, labels and tags are defined as written material provided by respondents for purposes of attachment to textile wearing apparel that is offered for sale to consumers.

IV.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of the Zurcion Method of cleaning or preservation, or any other substantially similar method of cleaning or preservation, in or affecting commerce, shall not represent in any manner, expressly or by implication, that such method is patented or that such method is the only safe or effective method for cleaning or preserving any garment.

V.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any garment cleaning or preservation method, service, or product in or affecting commerce, shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication, regarding the comparative or absolute safety or efficacy of any cleaning or preservation method, service, or product, unless the representation is true and, at the time it is made, respondents possess and rely upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation.

VI.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of a garment cleaning or preservation service in or affecting commerce, shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication, that such service is guaranteed or warranted, unless they disclose, clearly and prominently, and in close proximity to the representation, any material limitation or condition on the guarantee or warranty, including, but not limited to the fact, if true, that an item cleaned or preserved by respondents will be returned to the consumer in a sealed container that cannot be opened by the consumer without invalidating respondents' warranty of its service and that the consumer cannot use or examine the item cleaned by respondents without first returning the item to respondents for further processing, or any other material limitations or conditions on the guarantee or warranty.

VII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, and respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, shall, within sixty (60) days after the date of service of this order, notify all garment manufacturers, garment importers, bridal shops, and other commercial entities that have been provided with Zurcion labels or promotional materials that the Zurcion labels are inaccurate and that cleaners other than respondents are able to clean and preserve garments to which Zurcion labels have been affixed.

VIII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, and respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, shall disclose, in any communication regarding the cleaning or preservation of garments to which labels stating "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method" or substantially similar instructions are attached, that those labels are inaccurate and that cleaners other than respondents are able to clean and preserve the items.

IX.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, and respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, for five (5) years after the date of issuance of this order, shall maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying business records demonstrating their compliance with the terms and provisions of this order, including but not limited to:

A. All advertisements and promotional materials for any garment cleaning or preservation method, service, or product offered for sale by respondents;

B. All materials that were relied upon in disseminating any representation covered by this order;

C. All tests, reports, studies, surveys, demonstrations, or other evidence in their possession or control that contradict, qualify, or call into question any representation covered by this order, or the basis relied upon for the representation, including complaints and other communications with consumers or with governmental or consumer protection organizations; and

D. All materials provided by respondents to manufacturers, importers, retailers, or wholesalers of textile wearing apparel.

X.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, and respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus shall deliver a copy of this order to all current and future principals, officers, directors, and managers, and to all current and future employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of this order, and shall secure from each such person a signed and dated statement acknowledging receipt of the order. Respondents shall deliver this order to current personnel within sixty (60) days after the date of service of this order, and to future personnel within thirty (30) days after the person assumes such position or responsibilities.

XI.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in the corporation(s) that may affect compliance obligations arising under this order, including but not limited to a dissolution, assignment, sale, merger, or other action that would result in the emergence of a successor corporation; the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary, parent, or affiliate that engages in any acts or practices subject to this order; the proposed filing of a bankruptcy petition; or a change in the corporate name or address. Provided, however, that, with respect to any proposed change in the corporation(s) about which respondents learn less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such action is to take place, respondents shall notify the Commission as soon as is practicable after obtaining such knowledge. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.

XII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus, for a period of ten (10) years after the date of issuance of this order, shall notify the Commission of the discontinuance of their current business or employment, or of their affiliation with any new business or employment. The notice shall include respondents' new business address and telephone number and a description of the nature of the business or employment and their duties and responsibilities. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.

XIII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondents Continental Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Nationwide Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Prestige Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., Gown Cleaning Service, Inc., and Jonathan Ashley, Ltd., and their successors and assigns, and respondents Lewis Weissman and Gary Marcus shall, within sixty (60) days after the date of service of this order, and at such other times as the Federal Trade Commission may require, file with the Commission a report, in writing, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which they have complied with this order. This report shall include, but shall not be limited to, a detailed description of the Zurcion Method of cleaning or preservation, any substantially similar method of cleaning or preservation, or any other specialized method of cleaning or preserving textile wearing apparel advertised by respondents, including the solvent(s) used in such method. Pursuant to Rule 4.9(c) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, respondents may designate this material as confidential and request that it be withheld from the public record.

XIV.

This order will terminate twenty (20) years from the date of its issuance, or twenty (20) years from the most recent date that the United States or the Federal Trade Commission files a complaint (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court alleging any violation of the order, whichever comes later; provided, however, that the filing of such a complaint will not affect the duration of:

A. Any Part in this order that terminates in less than twenty (20) years;

B. This order's application to any respondent that is not named as a defendant in such complaint; and

C. This order if such complaint is filed after the order has terminated pursuant to this Part.

Provided, further, that if such complaint is dismissed or a federal court rules that the respondent did not violate any provision of the order, and the dismissal or ruling is either not appealed or upheld on appeal, then the order will terminate according to this Part as though the complaint had never been filed, except that the order will not terminate between the date such complaint is filed and the later of the deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Federal Trade Commission has caused its complaint to be signed by its Secretary and its official seal to be hereto affixed at Washington, D.C. this twentieth day of May, 1998.

By the Commission, Commissioner Swindle voting in the affirmative but dissenting from the inclusion of Part III of the Notice Order.

SEAL

Donald S. Clark
Secretary