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The CARS Rule and Automotive Advertising

Automotive dealership office with a manager reviewing NADA Driven Guide, highlighting compliance and transparency in advertising for the FTC's CARS Rule.

The world of automotive advertising is full of eye-catching offers and enticing deals. However, navigating the legalities behind those promotions can be a challenge for dealers. This blog post sheds light on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) advertising rules and how dealerships can stay compliant, especially in light of the FTC CARS Rule.



The All-Important "Offering Price"

According to the Federal Trade Commission, it has always been against the law to advertise anything other than the full price - what the FTC is now calling the "Offering Price." The problem is that the AMG Capital Management case proved it was unenforceable with monetary fines.


NADA's Driven Guide: Your Compliance Roadmap

Enter the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) Driven Guide series. This resource provides dealerships with practical guidance on navigating complex advertising regulations, including the FTC's requirements.


Dealerships should familiarize themselves with the Driven Guide on Federal Advertising Requirements since there is a potential for the CARS Rule to remain in effect (litigation is ongoing).


What to Say and What Not to Say in Your Ads

An example from the Driven Guide, showcases an advertisement riddled with misleading information.  A common tactic is to advertise a low price, then reveal in the fine print that the offer requires a specific trade-in value or down payment.


Transparency is Key

The core message of the Driven Guide is clear: advertised prices should reflect the total cost a customer can expect to pay. This means no hidden fees, no fine print disclaimers, and no bait-and-switch tactics with rebates.


While adhering to stricter advertising rules might seem like a disadvantage, Ganther argues otherwise. In a market potentially saturated with misleading ads, dealerships that embrace complete transparency can gain a competitive edge by building trust with consumers.


Equipping Dealerships for Success

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to navigating the ever-changing landscape of automotive advertising regulations. The NADA Driven Guide empowers dealerships with the information they need to stay compliant and build trust with their customers.


Watch the Full Video for Expert Insights

James Ganther's keynote address delves deeper into the challenges surrounding automotive advertising compliance. Watch the full video to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this critical issue and its impact on the automotive industry.





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