July 30, 2021

Volume XI, Number 211

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FTC Changes Course and Retains Care Labeling

On July 21, 2021, during an open Commission meeting, the Federal Trade Commission (Commission) voted to retain its longstanding Care Labeling Rule. This decision came after the Commission previously sought comment (in July 2020) on a proposal to repeal. The Rule, which has been in effect since 1971, requires manufacturers and importers to affix labels to certain garments and other goods providing care instructions, including dry cleaning or washing, bleaching, drying and ironing.

The Commission received well over 200 comments to its 2020 proposal, the majority of which opposed repealing the Rule. Opponents, including individuals and small businesses, emphasized that consumers rely on labels to extend the life of their clothes. Others, including stakeholders in the manufacturing and cleaning industries, explained that removing labels would increase the likelihood that items would be damaged in the wash and, as a result, expose their businesses to unnecessary liability.

FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra lamented that the 2020 proposal “c[a]me out of nowhere” and “created immediate panic among small businesses in the laundry and dry cleaning sector.” The agency’s unanimous decision to retain the Rule ensures manufacturers, retailers, designers and dry cleaners have access to valuable guidance and that consumers continue to get accurate, useful information on how to properly care for their fabrics. The FTC noted in its official statement that it would continue to consider ways to improve the Rule for consumers and businesses in the future.

Copyright © 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 203
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About this Author

Phyllis H. Marcus Partner Consumer Products Food Industry Retail Practices
Partner

With 17 years of experience at the FTC, Phyllis brings a unique advertising and children’s privacy vantage point to our clients.

Phyllis heads the firm’s advertising counseling practice, and focuses on all aspects of advertising, from the initial development of a claim to its ultimate defense in the marketplace. Phyllis’s practice includes claim creation and substantiation, pre-acquisition due diligence, dissemination in traditional and digital media, and both offensive and defensive competitor challenges. She also counsels clients on the intricacies of compliance with the Children’...

202-955-1810
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