Frontier Pickup Cannot Actually Push a Dune Buggy Up a Steep Hill, FTC Says

Frontier Pickup Cannot Actually Push a Dune Buggy Up a Steep Hill, FTC SaysNobody really buys a mid-sized pickup truck to push a dune buggy up a steep hill, but showing one doing just that isn’t lawful because it’s deceptive.
The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that Nissan North America and an advertising agency that designed television ads for the mid-sized Nissan Frontier pickup truck did just that.
In fact, the pickup is not capable of pushing the dune buggy up and over the hill, and both the truck and the dune buggy were dragged to the top of the hill by cables, according to FTC complaints. It is also alleged that the hill was made to look significantly steeper than it actually was.
Under the proposed settlements, Nissan and TBWA Worldwide are prohibited from using deceptive demonstrations in advertisements for pickup trucks. Both companies have greed to settle FTC charges of deceptive advertising for a 30-second ad showing a Frontier pushing a dune buggy up a steep hill, “something the truck actually cannot do,” the U.S. agency said.
“Special effects in ads can be entertaining, but advertisers can’t use them to misrepresent what a product can do,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “This ad made the Nissan Frontier appear capable of doing something it can’t do.”
Nissan and TBWA promoted the Frontier pickup truck with a “Hill Climb” TV ad that showed the vehicle rescuing a dune buggy trapped in sand on a steep hill, while amazed onlookers observe.
The administrative complaints allege that Nissan and TBWA violated the FTC Act by representing that the ad accurately showed the performance of an unaltered Nissan Frontier under the conditions that were depicted.

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