FTC Seeks Comments on Decorative Wall Paneling Industry Guides

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As part of its ongoing periodic review of its rules and guides, the Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on its Guides for the Decorative Wall Paneling Industry. The FTC's request for comments about the overall costs and benefits of the guides and their regulatory and economic impact will be published shortly in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted for 60 days.

The Guides, effective since December 1972, advise manufacturers, retail distributors, and other suppliers of decorative wall panels about labeling, advertising, and promoting their products in a manner consistent with Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

The Guides also are designed to protect purchasers from being misled by the appearance of a product, or by deceptive descriptions, depictions, designations, or representations in advertisements, labels, or other promotional materials. They give consumers examples of non-deceptive references and representations with respect to the construction, composition, or appearance of industry products and point out that it is the seller who bears the affirmative responsibility of providing detailed disclosures regarding the composition of the products being offered.

The Commission seeks public comment on a number of questions, including the following:

  • Is there a continuing need for the Decorative Wall Paneling Guides?
  • What benefits have the Guides provided to purchasers of the products affected by the Guides?
  • Have the Guides imposed costs on purchasers?
  • What changes should be made to the Guides to increase the benefits of the Guides to purchasers?
  • What significant burdens or costs (including costs of compliance) have the Guides imposed on firms subject to their advice?
  • Since the Guides were issued, what effects have changes in the global marketplace, relevant technology or economic conditions had on the Guides? For example, do sellers use E-mail, the Internet or CD ROM to advertise or sell decorative wall panels? If so, in what manner?
  • Does use of this new technology affect consumers' rights or sellers' responsibilities under the Guides?
  • Do the Guides overlap or conflict with other federal, state, or local laws or regulations?

The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 5-0.

Comments should be addressed to: Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580 and should be identified as "CFR Part 243 -- Comment." E-mail comment will be accepted at paneling@ftc.gov, and should be accompanied by a return e-mail address to which an acknowledgment of receipt can be sent.

Copies of the Federal Register notice and the Guides are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Eric Nickerson
Denver Regional Office