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Shell & Castrol Settle FTC Charges Archive Article: Shell & Castrol Settle FTC Charges

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 1999 — In the latest of a series of Federal Trade Commission cases alleging that ad claims for motor oil and fuel additives were deceptive, Castrol North America Inc. and Shell Chemical Company have agreed to stop making unsubstantiated claims.

Castrol is charged with deceptively advertising on television, in magazines, and on the product’s label, that Castrol Syntec Power System significantly improves engine power and acceleration and is superior to other gas additives; and with falsely claiming that tests prove these claims.

Shell is alleged to have provided its trade customers, like Castrol, with allegedly deceptive advertising and promotional materials, and to have made allegedly false or misleading representations about tests it conducted on its VEKTRON™ 3000 fuel additives. Based on these actions, Shell is charged with providing the “means and instrumentalities” to its trade customers to deceive the public.

The settlements would require that Castrol and Shell have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support power and acceleration claims, as well as any performance, benefits or efficacy claims for fuel additives marketed by Castrol, and fuel additive products or ingredients marketed by Shell in the future.

In addition, misrepresentations about tests, studies or research are prohibited. Shell also would be required to notify its other trade customers of the FTC’s complaint and order.

The FTC has previously halted allegedly deceptive ads for Valvoline Engine Treatment, Slick 50 Engine Treatment, and STP Engine Treatment and unsubstantiated claims for Prolong. Motor Up Corporation, and the marketers of DuraLube are awaiting administrative trial on charges that their ads were unsubstantiated.

The related complaint to The USA Federal Trade Commission can be accessed on the link below: –

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