In the Matter of

CONOPCO, INC., a corporation.

FILE NO. 982 3046


The Federal Trade Commission has conducted an investigation of certain acts and practices of Conopco, Inc. doing business as Unilever Home & Personal Care USA, a corporation ("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 Conopco, Inc., by its duly authorized officers, and counsel for the Federal Trade Commission that:

1. Proposed respondent Conopco, Inc. is a New York corporation with its office and principal place of business located at 390 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022. Conopco, Inc. does business as "Unilever Home & Personal Care USA" and "Chesebrough-Pond's" at 33 Benedict Place, Greenwich, CT 06830.

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 sixty (60) 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 This agreement contemplates that, if it is accepted by the Commission, and if such acceptance is not subsequently withdrawn by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.34 of the Commission's Rules, the Commission may, without further notice to proposed respondent, (1)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.



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. Unless otherwise specified, "respondent" shall mean Conopco, Inc., a corporation, its successors and assigns, and its officers, agents, representatives, and employees.
3. "Commerce" shall mean as defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.
4. "Germ" shall mean any microscopic organism that is capable of causing disease, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
5. "Antimicrobial product" shall mean any product represented as antimicrobial, antibacterial, germicidal, or otherwise represented to prevent, control or destroy any germ(s).


IT IS 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 Vaseline® Brand Intensive Care® Antibacterial Hand Lotion or any other antimicrobial product in or affecting commerce, shall not make any representation, in any manner, expressly or by implication that:

A. such product is as effective as, or more effective than, washing alone in protecting users against germs;

B. such product has a continuous effect against germs;

C. such product has any effect on any specific germ; or

D. such product treats, cures, alleviates the symptoms of, prevents, or reduces the risk of developing colds, allergies, influenza, food-borne illnesses or any other disease or disorder;

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


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.


FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ORDER, "antimicrobial product" shall not include any product sold or distributed to consumers by third parties under private labeling agreements with respondent, its successors or assigns, provided respondent, its successors or assigns, does not participate in any manner, directly or indirectly, in the funding, preparation or dissemination of any advertising of said products to consumers.


IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Conopco, Inc. 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.


IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Conopco, Inc. 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, for a period of five (5) years from the date of issuance of this order, to future personnel within thirty (30) days after the person assumes such position or responsibilities.


IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Conopco, Inc. and its 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 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, Washington, D.C. 20580.


IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Conopco, Inc. 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.


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 _____, 19__




Deputy General Counsel
Attorney for respondent

Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission

Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission

Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission

Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission


San Francisco Regional Office