FTC Orders Dallas Auto Dealer to Stop Deceptive Ads Targeting Spanish-speaking Buyers

A Dallas auto dealership has agreed to stop running Spanish-language newspaper advertising that deceptively touted the cost of financing, buying or leasing vehicles, the Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday.The FTC consent order prohibits Cowboy AG LLC, which operates as Cowboy Toyota and Cowboy Scion, from running further ads that don't clearly spell out vehicle loan and leasing terms.According to the FTC, Cowboy Toyota bought full-page ads that stated in Spanish that consumers could buy or lease vehicles at favorable terms, with limitations to those terms appearing in fine print in English at the bottom of the ads. The FTC said deceptive claims included that no down payment was required and that advertised interest rates and monthly payments were available to consumers with bad credit.The ads appeared in Al Dia, the Spanish-language newspaper published by The Dallas Morning News.The dealership's owners told Automotive News in December that they were "embarrassed" and "terribly regret" the ads. Co-owner Robert Cannon said the ads weren't adequately reviewed by dealership staff and a media company hired to create and place them.Since the FTC complaint, Cowboy Toyota implemented procedures to more carefully review ads both internally and by a specialized advertising firm to ensure they meet all state and federal requirements, Cannon told Automotive News.  Continue reading...

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