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Optical Retailer Fined $55,000 in Crackdown on 'Sale' Ads

September 22, 1987|JOHN TIGHE | Times Staff Writer

For the second time in a month the Orange County district attorney's office has reached an agreement with an eyeglass retailer who will pay a stiff fine and avoid misleading advertising of allegedly non-existent "sale" prices.

The latest action requires the current owners of the defunct Rips Vision Centers chain to pay a $55,000 fine and to refrain from misleading advertising.

Rips, which was headquartered in Los Angeles and had two Orange County stores, was purchased in December by a national optical chain. The district attorney's investigation involved practices that occurred before the sale. The new owner has agreed to pay the fine, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Gay Geiser-Sandoval.

She said the judgment came after nine months of tracking advertisements placed by Rips Vision, which operated 40 stores in the state. She said the chain continually ran ads that touted limited-period "sale prices." Those prices were standard and changed only occasionally, she said.

In August, Frame-n-Lens Optical Inc.--a San Diego-based maker of eyeglasses with nine Orange County outlets--agreed to pay a $50,000 fine and to halt misleading advertising.

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