[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 170 (Thursday, September 2, 2010)]
[Pages 53968-53969]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-21949]



[File No. 092 3199]

Reverb Communications, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order 
To Aid Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed Consent Agreement.


SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to 
Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft 
complaint and the terms of the consent order -- embodied in the consent 
agreement -- that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 27, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments 
electronically or in paper form. Comments should refer to ``Reverb, 
Inc., File No. 092 3199'' to facilitate the organization of comments. 
Please note that your comment -- including your name and your state -- 
will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on 
the publicly accessible FTC website, at (http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm).
    Because comments will be made public, they should not include any 
sensitive personal information, such as an individual's Social Security 
Number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state 
identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; 
financial account number; or credit or debit card number. Comments also 
should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical 
records or other individually identifiable health information. In 
addition, comments should not include any ``[t]rade secret or any 
commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person 
and which is privileged or confidential. . . .,'' as provided in 
Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Commission Rule 
4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). Comments containing material for which 
confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must 
be clearly labeled ``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\

    \1\ The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for 
confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for 
the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment 
to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted 
or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with 
applicable law and the public interest. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 

    Because paper mail addressed to the FTC is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening, please consider submitting your comments 
in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be 
submitted by using the following weblink: (https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/reverb) and following the instructions 
on the web-based form. To ensure that the Commission considers an 
electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form at the 
weblink: (https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/reverb). If this 
Notice appears at (http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp), you 
may also file an electronic comment through that website. The 
Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to 
it. You may also visit the FTC website at (http://www.ftc.gov/) to read 
the Notice and the news release describing it.
    A comment filed in paper form should include the ``Reverb, Inc., 
File No. 092 3199'' reference both in the text and on the envelope, and 
should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex D), 600 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting 
that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight 
service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area 
and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security 
    The Federal Trade Commission Act (``FTC Act'') and other laws the 
Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to 
consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will 
consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives, 
whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be 
available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, 
at (http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm). As a matter of 
discretion, the Commission makes every effort to remove home contact 
information for individuals from the public comments it receives before 
placing those comments on the FTC website. More information, including 
routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's 
privacy policy, at (http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.shtm).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacey Ferguson (202-326-2361), Bureau 
of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Sec.  2.34 the 
Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that 
the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to 
cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final 
approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a 

[[Page 53969]]

of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment 
describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in 
the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent 
agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for August 
26, 2010), on the World Wide Web, at (http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm). A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public 
Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 
D.C. 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.
    Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission 
in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as 
prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or 
before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') has 
accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent 
order from Reverb Communications, Inc. and Tracie Snitker, 100% owner 
and the only officer and director of the corporation (``respondents'').
    The proposed consent order (``proposed order'') has been placed on 
the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by 
interested persons. Comments received during this period will become 
part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will 
again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide 
whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate 
action or make final the agreement's proposed order.
    This matter involves the public relations, marketing, and sales 
services that respondents provided to companies that developed video 
game applications. The Commission's complaint alleges that, from 
November 2008 through May 2009, respondents' employees, posing as 
ordinary consumers, posted positive product reviews online for their 
clients' gaming applications. These postings did not disclose the 
compensated nature of the relationship between the reviewers and the 
publishers of the gaming applications. The complaint alleges that the 
respondents violated Section 5 by misrepresenting that reviews of 
certain gaming applications were those of independent, ordinary 
consumers. The complaint further alleges that the respondents violated 
Section 5 by failing to disclose the material connections between the 
product reviewers and the sellers of the reviewed products.
    Part I of the proposed order prohibits the respondents, in 
connection with the advertising of any product or service, from 
misrepresenting their status as independent users or ordinary consumers 
of that product or service.
    Part II prohibits the respondents from making any representation 
about any user or endorser of a product or service unless they 
disclose, clearly and prominently, a material connection, when one 
exists, between the user or endorser of the product or service and any 
other party involved in promoting that product or service. The proposed 
order defines ``material connection'' as any relationship that 
materially affects the weight or credibility of any endorsement and 
would not be reasonably expected by consumers.
    Part III requires the respondents to take all reasonable steps to 
remove, with seven days of service of the order, any previously posted 
endorsements that do not comply with Parts I and II of the order.
    Parts IV through IX of the proposed order require respondents: to 
keep copies of relevant consumer complaints and inquiries, documents 
demonstrating order compliance, and any documents relating to any 
representation covered by this order; to provide copies of the order to 
certain of their personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in 
corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the 
order; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate business or 
employment as to proposed respondent Tracie Snitker individually; and 
to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part IX provides that 
the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain 
    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the 
proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any 
way their terms.
    By direction of the Commission.

Richard C. Donohue
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2010-21949 Filed 9-1-10; 8:45 am]