The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on whether to retain or modify its Guides for the Beauty and Barber Equipment and Supplies Industry, which designate as unacceptable certain advertising and trade practices relating to the sale of products used by barber shops, barber schools, beauty parlors, beauty salons, and beauty clinics. The products include a variety of beauty and barber preparations, equipment, furnishings and supplies. The FTC, as part of a continuing review of the regulatory and economic impact of its rules and guides, is requesting comments on whether the guides are still needed, and whether they address conduct that is currently a problem in the industry. Comments on the guides will be accepted for 60 days, until June 5.
The Beauty/Barber Supplies Guides, published in 1968, superseded the trade practice rules for the Beauty and Barber Equipment and Supplies Industry which had been promulgated on Aug. 9, 1941. Trade Regulation Rules have the force of law and violations can result in civil penalties. Guides, on the other hand, are not legally binding, but represent administrative interpretations of laws administered by the Commission, and are intended to assist marketers in meeting legal requirements.
The Beauty/Barber Supplies Guides address the use of trade names, symbols and depictions; the defamation of competitors or the false disparagement of their products; false invoicing; push money; discriminatory pricing and discriminatory promotional allowances; the hiring of competitors' employees; commercial bribery; inducing breach of contract; and exclusive dealing arrangements.
The FTC, as part of its oversight responsibilities, periodically reviews its rules and guides to identify any that Beauty/Barber Supplies Guides--04/04/95) should be modified or rescinded. The Commission is seeking public comment on a number of questions pertaining to the Beauty/Barber Supplies Guides, including:
- whether there is a continuing need for the guides;
- whether any changes should be made to the guides to increase the benefits to purchasers;
- whether the guides have imposed significant burdens or costs on firms subject to their requirements;
- whether any changes should be made to the guides to reduce the burdens or costs imposed on such firms;
- whether the guides overlap or conflict with any local, state or other federal laws or regulations; and
- what effects changes in relevant technology or economic conditions have had on the guides.
At the end of the public comment period, if the Commission decides to retain the guides, it intends to update certain terms to reflect policy changes that have occurred since the guides were last revised in 1968.
The Commission vote to seek comments on the guides was 4-0.
The request for public comment on the Beauty/Barber Supplies Guides will be published in the April 4 Federal Register. Comments should be addressed to: Office of the Secretary, FTC, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments should be identified as "16 CFR Part 248 - Comment."
Copies of the Federal Register notice, and the existing guides are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, same address as above.
(FTC Matter No. P958803)