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On August 10, 1998, FTC staff filed a comment with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) about its discussion draft Green Guidelines for Electricity. FTC has a longstanding interest in regulation and competition in energy markets and monitors industry and legislative developments in the electric industry at the state and federal levels that will affect consumers' interests. FTC's mission in this area includes ensuring truth in advertising, and to prevent and remedy unfair or deceptive trade practices.

The staff comment addresses the seven general issues related to environmental marketing claims for electricity, as to which NAAG specifically solicited comments. The comment observes:

  • there is little need to depart from the FTC's Environmental Marketing Guides on the issues of making general environmental benefit claims and substantiating environmental claims concerning electricity;
  • absent research on how consumers interpret the terms "green" and "clean," these terms should probably be treated as general environmental benefit claims;
  • the term "renewable" should probably not be treated as a general environmental benefit claim;
  • both historical data and future projections should be permitted for making and substantiating claims about fuel sources and emissions, and no specific substantiation methods should be prescribed; and
  • it is unnecessary and counterproductive to set standards for price advertising for power marketed as having an environmental benefit.

For more information about green advertising law, read the article, 10 Ways to Spot Suspect Environmental Claims.

NOTE: The comment represents the views of staff members of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection and not necessarily the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.

(Electric Industry Restructuring, FTC File No. V980020, August 12, 1998.)


FTC obtained a court order temporarily halting the marketing operations of the American Urological Corporation, and several related companies, all under the direction of David A. Brady, for allegedly false claims about the effectiveness of its impotence treatment products. FTC alleged that Brady and his companies marketed and sold a host of products as purported treatments for impotence by falsely creating the impression that the products have been developed by legitimate medical enterprises and that clinical studies have proven that the products effectively eliminate impotence in 68 to 94% of men.

The U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Georgia, has frozen the assets of Brady and his companies, and FTC is seeking a permanent injunction barring future alleged misrepresentations and providing redress for consumers.

FTC filed its complaint, under seal, in U. S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on August 3, 1998. The seal was lifted August 6, 1998.

The Missouri Attorney's General office and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided substantial assistance to FTC in this investigation.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has `reason to believe' that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

(American Urological Corporation, et al., Civil Action No.: 1:98-CV-2199(JOS), FTC Matter No. 982 3195, August 6, 1998.)


FTC finalized a consent order against Honeywell, Inc. resolving FTC charges that the company made unsubstantiated efficiency and allergy relief claims for its Honeywell Air Purifiers.

(FTC Release, August 21, 1998.)

NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of $11,000.

INTERNET MATERIALS: Materials relating to these FTC matters are available on the Internet at FTC's website at:



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