UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BEFORE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

In the Matter of


TRU-VANTAGE INTERNATIONAL, LLC, a limited liability company

FILE NO. 002-3210

AGREEMENT CONTAINING CONSENT ORDER

The Federal Trade Commission has conducted an investigation of certain acts and practices of Tru-Vantage International, L.L.C. ("proposed respondent"). Proposed respondent, having been represented by counsel, is willing to enter into an agreement containing a consent order resolving the allegations contained in the attached draft complaint. Therefore,

IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between Tru-Vantage International, L.L.C., and by its duly authorized officer, and counsel for the Federal Trade Commission that:

1. Proposed respondent Tru-Vantage International, International, L.L.C., is an Illinois corporation with its principal office or place of business at 7300 North Lehigh Avenue, Niles, Illinois 60714.
 
2. Proposed respondent admits all the jurisdictional facts set forth in the draft complaint.
 
3. Proposed respondent waives:

a. Any further procedural steps;
 
b. The requirement that the Commission's decision contain a statement of findings of fact and conclusions of law; and

c. All rights to seek judicial review or otherwise to challenge or contest the validity of the order entered pursuant to this agreement.
 
4. This agreement shall not become part of the public record of the proceeding unless and until it is accepted by the Commission. If this agreement is accepted by the Commission, it, together with the draft complaint, will be placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days and information about it publicly released. The Commission thereafter may either withdraw its acceptance of this agreement and so notify proposed respondent, in which event it will take such action as it may consider appropriate, or issue and serve its complaint (in such form as the circumstances may require) and decision in disposition of the proceeding.
 
5. This agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by proposed respondent that the law has been violated as alleged in the draft complaint, or that the facts as alleged in the draft complaint, other than the jurisdictional facts, are true.

6. This agreement contemplates that, if it is accepted by the Commission, and if such acceptance is not subsequently withdrawn by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.34 of the Commission's Rules, the Commission may, without further notice to proposed respondent, (1) issue its complaint corresponding in form and substance with the attached draft complaint and its decision containing the following order in disposition of the proceeding, and (2) make information about it public. When so entered, the order shall have the same force and effect and may be altered, modified, or set aside in the same manner and within the same time provided by statute for other orders. The order shall become final upon service. Delivery of the complaint and the decision and order to proposed respondent's address as stated in this agreement by any means specified in Section 4.4(a) of the Commission's Rules shall constitute service. Proposed respondent waives any right it may have to any other manner of service. The complaint may be used in construing the terms of the order. No agreement, understanding, representation, or interpretation not contained in the order or in the agreement may be used to vary or contradict the terms of the order.
 
7. Proposed respondent has read the draft complaint and consent order. It understands that it may be liable for civil penalties in the amount provided by law and other appropriate relief for each violation of the order after it becomes final.

ORDER

DEFINITIONS

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

1. "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.

2. "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.
 
3. Unless otherwise specified, "respondent" shall mean Tru-Vantage International, L.L.C., and its successors and assigns and its officers, agents, representatives, and employees.

4. "Drug" shall mean as defined in Section 15 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C.  55.
 
5. "Food" shall mean as defined in Section 15 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15
U.S.C.  55.
 
6. "Commerce" shall mean as defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C.  44.

I.

IT IS ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of SNORenz or any other food, drug, or dietary supplement, as "food" and "drug" are defined in Section 15 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, in or affecting commerce, shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication that:

A. Such product reduces or eliminates snoring or the sound of snoring in users of the product;
B. A single application of such product reduces or eliminates snoring or the sound of snoring for any specified period of time; or
 
C. Such product can eliminate, reduce or mitigate the symptoms of sleep apnea including daytime tiredness and frequent interruptions of deep restorative sleep

unless at the time the representation is made, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation.

II.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any product that has not been shown by competent and reliable scientific evidence to be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea, in or affecting commerce, shall not represent, in any manner, expressly or by implication, that the product is effective in reducing or eliminating snoring or the sounds of snoring, unless it discloses, clearly and prominently, and in close proximity to the representation, that such product is not intended to treat sleep apnea, that the symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness, that sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition, and that persons who have symptoms of sleep apnea should consult a physician. Provided, however, that for any television commercial or other video advertisement fifteen (15) minutes in length or longer or intended to fill a broadcasting or cablecasting time slot fifteen (15) minutes in length or longer, the disclosure shall be made within the first thirty (30) seconds of the advertisement and immediately before each presentation of ordering instructions for the product. Provided further, that, for the purposes of this provision, the presentation of a telephone number, e-mail address, or mailing address for listeners to contact for further information or to place an order for the product shall be deemed a presentation of ordering instructions so as to require the announcement of the disclosure provided herein.

III.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of SNORenz or any other product, service, or program in or affecting commerce, shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication, about the benefits, performance, efficacy or safety of any such product, service, or program, unless, at the time the representation is made, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable evidence, which, when appropriate, must be competent and reliable scientific evidence, that substantiates the representation.

IV.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any product, service, or program in or affecting commerce, shall not misrepresent, in any manner, expressly or by implication, the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test, study, or research.

V.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any product, service, or program in or affecting commerce, shall not represent, in any manner, expressly or by implication, that the experience represented by any user testimonial or endorsement of the product, service, or program represents, the typical or ordinary experience of members of the public who use the product, service, or program unless:

A. At the time it is made, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation; or
 
B. Respondent discloses, clearly and prominently, and in close proximity to the endorsement or testimonial, either:
 
1. what the generally expected results would be for users of the product, or
 
2. the limited applicability of the endorser's experience to what consumers may generally expect to achieve, that is, that consumers should not expect to experience similar results.

For purposes of this Part, "endorsement" shall mean as defined in 16 C.F.R.  255.0(b).

VI.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any product, service, or program in or affecting commerce, shall disclose, clearly and prominently, and in close proximity to the endorsement, a material connection, where one exists, between a person or entity providing an endorsement of any product, service, or program, as "endorsement" is defined 16 C.F.R. 255.0 (b) and respondent, or any other individual or entity manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promoting, offering for sale, selling, or distributing such product, service, or program. For purposes of this order, "material connection" shall mean any relationship that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement and would not be reasonably expected by endorsers.

VII.

Nothing in this order shall prohibit respondent from making any representation for any drug that is permitted in labeling for such drug under any tentative final or final standard promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration, or under any new drug application approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

VIII.

Nothing in this order shall prohibit respondent from making any representation for any product that is specifically permitted in labeling for such product by regulations promulgated by the Food and Drug Administration pursuant to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

IX.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent and its successors and assigns shall, for five (5) years after the last date of dissemination of any representation covered by this order, maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying:

A. All advertisements and promotional materials containing the representation;
 
B. All materials that were relied upon in disseminating the representation; and

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

X.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent and its successors and assigns 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. Respondent shall deliver this order to current personnel within thirty (30) 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 respondent and its successors and assigns shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in the corporation 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 about which respondent learns less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such action is to take place, respondent 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, 601 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., S-4302, Washington, D.C. 20580.

XII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent and its successors and assigns 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 it has complied with this order.

XIII.

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.

Signed this _____ day of _____, 2001.

TRU-VANTAGE INTERNATIONAL, L.L.C.

By:

KEVIN McENEELY
Manager and Member

DAVID J. BRADFORD
Jenner & Block
Attorney for respondents

LEMUEL W. DOWDY
Counsel for the Federal Trade
Commission

WALTER C. GROSS
Counsel for the Federal Trade
Commission

APPROVED:

ELAINE D. KOLISH
Associate Director
Division of Enforcement

JOAN Z. BERNSTEIN
Director
Bureau of Consumer Protection