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<All> Slick 50 (long...)
FYI - from the FTC's site. Complete text available at:
> QUAKER STATE SUBSIDIARIES SETTLE FTC CHARGES AGAINST SLICK 50
> Agreement Safeguards $10 Million in Redress to Consumers
> Three subsidiaries of Quaker State Corp. have agreed to settle
> Federal Trade Commission charges that ads for Quaker State's Slick
> 50 Engine Treatment were false and unsubstantiated. Under the terms
> of the settlement, the companies will be barred from making certain
> claims and required to have substantiation for claims about the
> performance, benefits, efficacy or attributes of their engine
> lubricant products. In addition, the settlement will preserve the
> Commission's option to seek consumer redress if class action suits
> currently being litigated against Quaker State and its subsidiaries
> result in less than $10 million in consumer redress.
> The three Quaker State subsidiaries named in the settlement are
> Blue Coral, Inc., Blue Coral-Slick 50, Inc., and Blue Coral-Slick
> 50, Ltd. Blue Coral, Inc., is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since its
> 1978 introduction, Slick 50 has about 30 million users world-wide
> and retails for about $18 a quart. The company claims to have about
> 60% of the engine treatment market.
> In July, 1996, the FTC issued a complaint against four now-defunct
> Quaker State subsidiaries, which have been succeeded in interest by
> the three subsidiaries named in the settlement. The FTC's 1996
> complaint charged that ads for Slick 50 claiming improved engine
> performance and reduced engine wear were deceptive.
> According to the FTC complaint, these claims and similar ones
> falsely represented that without Slick 50, auto engines generally
> have little or no protection from wear at start-up and commonly
> experience premature failure caused by wear. In fact, the complaint
> alleged, most automobile engines are adequately protected from wear
> at start-up when they use motor oil as recommended in the owner's
> manual. Moreover, it is uncommon for engines to experience
> premature failure caused by wear, whether they have been treated
> with Slick 50 or not, according to the FTC. Finally, the FTC
> alleged that Slick 50 neither coats engine parts with a layer of
> PTFE nor meets military specifications for motor oil additives, as
> falsely claimed.
> The FTC complaint also charged that Slick 50 lacked substantiation
> for advertising claims that, compared to motor oil alone, the
> --reduces engine wear;
> --reduces engine wear by more than 50%;
> --reduces engine wear by up to 50%;
> --reduces engine wear at start-up;
> --extends the duration of engine life;
> --lowers engine temperatures;
> --reduces toxic emissions;
> --increases gas mileage; and
> --increases horsepower.
> In addition, the complaint alleged that the company did not have
> adequate substantiation for its advertising claims that one
> treatment of Slick 50 continues to reduce wear for 50,000 miles and
> that it has been used in a significant number of U.S. Government
> Finally, the complaint challenged ads stating that "tests prove"
> the engine wear reduction claims make by Slick 50. In fact,
> according to the FTC complaint, tests do not prove that Slick
> 50 reduces engine wear at start up, or by 50%, or that one
> treatment reduces engine wear for 50,000 miles.
> The settlement also prohibits any claims about the performance,
> benefits, efficacy, attributes or use of engine lubricants unless
> Quaker State's subsidiaries possess and rely on competent and
> reliable evidence to substantiate the claims. In addition, it
> prohibits the Quaker State subsidiaries from claiming that any
> other Slick 50 motor vehicle lubricant reduces wear on a part,
> extends the part's life, lowers engine temperature, reduces toxic
> emissions, increases gas mileage or increases horsepower unless
> they can substantiate the claim. The subsidiaries also will be
> required to notify resellers of the product about the settlement
> with the FTC and the restrictions on advertising claims.
That's one for "the good guys".