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From Home Furnishing Business

SSA to Sponsor FTC Speaker at Las Vegas Market

Kohm, who oversees enforcement of all consumer protection orders, will address enforcement of the FTC “Green Guides” for manufacturers and retailers making “Green Claims,” and educate furniture and mattress/ bedding manufacturers on how to comply with, and make green claims according to the FTC “Green Guides."

Kohm will give his presentation Monday, Jan. 27, 4:30-6:00 p.m., in Room C-1 of Building C at World Market Center Las Vegas.

Last July the FTC took action against three mattress/bedding manufacturers barring these manufacturers from advertising mattresses as free from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) without scientific evidence to back up their claims. In addition to challenging the companies’ VOC-free claims, the FTC charged that two of the companies made unsupported claims that their mattresses were chemical-free and lacked odor. The FTC also challenged one company’s claim that its mattresses are made from 100 percent natural materials, and another company’s claim that its mattresses were certified by an organic mattress organization. In settling the FTC’s charges, the companies agreed not to make similar claims in the future, unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to prove they are true.  In addition, one company is barred from making misrepresentations about certifications.

“We are sponsoring this FTC presentation at the Las Vegas market as a public service to the entire home furnishings and mattress/bedding industry," said SSA President Dale Read. "The requirement to substantiate back-up information and provide evidence for ‘green claims’ applies to the entire furniture and home furnishings industry. If you are a manufacturer or a retailer, and you are making either a specific green claim, or even a generalized green claim, you must substantiate your claim with specific statements, with competent and scientific evidence such as testing and/or with valid, third-party certifications. You cannot just make up these claims because they make good marketing; you cannot create your own certifications and seals. You have to have credible evidence and substantiation behind your ‘green clams.

“We encourage any manufacturer marketing furniture or bedding products with a 'green claim' to attend this educational/legal seminar being put on by the Enforcement Division of the Federal Trade Commission.”

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