FTC bureau calls for participation in meeting

The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection invites interested parties to participate in shaping the agenda for the recently announced 2006 Hearings on Global Marketing and Technology. The hearings, which will be held next fall, will explore the consumer protection issues and challenges arising from convergence in communications technology and the globalization of commerce. The hearings also will provide an opportunity to examine changes that have occurred in marketing and technology over the past decade, and to garner experts' views on coming challenges and opportunities.

Interested parties may submit e-mailed suggestions for topics to be considered during the hearings, as well as suggested speakers and participants, to techhearings@ftc.gov by April 17.

Ellex to open San Francisco HQ

Ellex Medical Lasers (Adelaide, Australia), maker of ophthalmic laser systems, said it would establish Ellex as its worldwide brand name, consistent with its name on the Australian Stock Exchange. Ellex will replace the brand name Laserex, and the U.S. and Japan subsidiaries also will adopt the Ellex name, to be consistent in one global brand representation.

In addition, Ellex said it would relocate its global headquarters responsible for global sales, marketing and customer service to the San Francisco Bay area during the second half of 2006, to be centrally located for its three main markets in North America, North Asia and Europe.

The global sales and marketing headquarters will be directed by CEO Peter Falzon and will develop and implement sales, marketing and service functions for the company worldwide.

Ellex' manufacturing, engineering and finance operations will remain in Adelaide and will not be affected by the opening of the San Francisco area facility, the company said.