Advertising the sale or financing of motor vehicles has become increasingly complicated with an aggressive Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the need to reach consumers (especially Millennials) through social media, which was never thought of when advertising laws and regulations were written. It certainly makes a dealer’s life more complex.
The FTC has launched a new automotive program since the Dodd-Frank Act gave it streamlined authority to write regulations. It has also become much more active in pursuing dealers for deceptive advertising under Section 5 of the FTC Act. (Since 2012, the FTC has brought 16 cases against auto dealers for deceptive advertising.) The FTC’s Head of its Bureau of Consumer Affairs said the FTC believes that deceptive dealer advertising is a “significant problem,” many automotive dealer investigations are “in the pipeline,” and that this is a “priority area” for the FTC.