Jamie LaReau
Jamie LaReau
Retail / F&I Reporter

FTC ad regulators could 'make an example' of 1 dealer in each state

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NEW ORLEANS -- Colorado car dealers take heed and watch those ads.

Leaders of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association outlined the pressing issues for dealers at CADA's breakfast on Sunday morning in New Orleans at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.

One of the big ones is the Federal Trade Commission's announcement that it would be heavily monitoring dealers' advertising practices -- and the agency is prepared to crack down on any ads that it considers to be misleading.

Earlier this month, the FTC settled cases with nine car dealers across the country for running deceptive ads. It warned there will be more to come.

Tammi McCoy, CADA's vice president of regulatory, legal and compliance issues, told Colorado dealers during her speech to take the threat seriously.

"The FTC is out there aggressively trying to take action against dealers," said McCoy. "Most likely they're going to find at least one dealer to make an example of in each state."

She urged dealers to review all their advertising and to be clear on the state's advertising regulations to make sure they are compliant, adding, "The word 'misleading' is a very subjective term."

Dealer John Medved agrees the FTC's threat is serious, but he supports it.

"As a dealer and a businessman, you have a responsibility to know right from wrong," said Medved, CEO of Medved Colorado in Wheat Ridge, Colo. He sells General Motors, Chrysler and Ford vehicles. "I have a wife and six kids, so I don't ever want to do anything that would make them ashamed of what I do for a living."

Colorado dealers have been warned -- now so has everyone else.

You can reach Jamie LaReau at jlareau@crain.com. -- Follow Jamie on Twitter

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