Auto chain dealer to pay $360K fine for deceptive ads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Auto chain dealer to pay $360K fine for deceptive ads

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A family-owned chain of automobile dealerships located in Iowa, Montana and South Dakota will pay a $360,000 civil penalty for running deceptive ads.

The Federal Trade Commission said Friday that Billion Auto and its advertising company violated a 2012 order that prohibited them from deceptively advertising the cost of buying or leasing a car.

The commission's complaint says Billion Auto's ads routinely focus on a few attractive terms but conceal other details that limit who can qualify or that add significant costs.

One ad, for instance, promoted a vehicle for lease for $179 a month but hid in the fine print that one must be a military veteran and returning customer to qualify.

An FTC official says its enforcement action shows "there is a financial cost for violating FTC orders."
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