Competition Bureau Takes Action Against Spa Retailers For False Energy Efficiency Claims

Ottawa, July 29, 2010 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal against two Alberta spa retailers and their directors, each of whom is alleged to have made false claims that their products were associated with the ENERGY STAR Program.

The Bureau alleges that, as early as 2007, businesses operating as "EcoSmart Spas" and "Dynasty Spas", and their directors, Brent Marsall and Rochelle Marsall, made a variety of representations in the sale and promotion of hot tubs and spas, conveying the impression that the products and/or their insulation were eligible for certification by the ENERGY STAR Program.

No hot tubs, spas or insulation products for sale in Canada are eligible for certification or any other form of association with the ENERGY STAR Program. The ENERGY STAR Program is an international standard for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly consumer products.

"Consumers rightly expect to receive truthful and accurate information so that they can make informed purchasing decisions," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. "In filing this application, the Bureau is sending a strong message to those who mislead consumers about the energy efficiency of their products."

In the application, the Commissioner is asking the Competition Tribunal to order Brent Marsall, Rochelle Marsall, and the companies in question to cease the alleged conduct, publish corrective notices and pay administrative monetary penalties.

Brent Marsall is the sole director of Dynasty Spas Inc., which does business as "EcoSmart Spas". He and Rochelle Marsall are directors of 1232466 Alberta Ltd., which does business as "Dynasty Spas".

Over the past year, the Bureau has entered into nine consent agreements with other hot tub and spa retailers who had been making similar representations about their Dynasty Spas products.

In June 2008, the Bureau released its enforcement guidelines, entitled "Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers". The guidelines provide the business community with the tools necessary to ensure that environmental marketing is not misleading, while providing consumers with greater assurance about the accuracy of environmental claims.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
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www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
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