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The CARS Rule and Fine Print: Navigating Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures

Conceptual image illustrating the FTC's CARS Rule on clear and conspicuous disclosures in car advertisements, showing a car ad with large, easily readable disclosures near the price, emphasizing the elimination of fine print and regulatory compliance.

One of the requirements of the CARS Rule is "clear and conspicuous disclosures." According to the Rule's definition of clear and conspicuous disclosures, fine print will not be allowed. In this post, we'll look at what the Rule says about these disclosures.

Clear and Conspicuous vs. Fine Print

Industry expert James Ganther sheds light on the CARS Rule's emphasis on "clear and conspicuous" disclosures. This eliminates the use of fine print, demanding that all important information be readily noticeable and easily understood by consumers. Additionally, these disclosures must be positioned near the advertised price or any terms they modify.

The Challenge of Constrained Space

This requirement presents a practical challenge for car dealerships. Fitting all the mandated disclosures into a single advertisement, without resorting to fine print, can be a daunting task. Further complicating matters are advertising regulations set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Balancing the CARS Rule's demands with OEM requirements could create significant hurdles for advertisers.

Impossible to Miss?

The CARS Rule further emphasizes that disclosures must be "impossible to miss." This stringency raises concerns about the feasibility of crafting legally compliant car advertisements, particularly given the limited space constraints inherent in many advertising formats. Industry insiders, as noted by Ganther, express skepticism about achieving this level of detail within the confines of a typical car ad.

Click Here: The Limits of Digital Disclosures

Even the idea of directing viewers to additional information through clickable buttons isn't considered a suitable solution under the CARS Rule. The government maintains that disclosures must be physically present within the advertisement itself, readily accessible on the same page or image.

Watch the Full Video for Expert Insights

Gain deeper insights into the CARS Rule and its impact on the retail automotive industry, don’t miss the full keynote speech by James S. Ganther, Esq. at Agent Summit 2024. Click the button below to watch the full video and learn more about the state and future of the CARS Rule, and how your dealership can stay ahead of these regulatory changes.

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