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BBB, which monitors area dealers' ads, offers tips to comply with egs

November 22, 2010
When an advertisement sets out some component of the purchase price, either by stating a monthly payment and/or a certain percent or savings off the MSRP, the advertisement must clearly and conspicuously disclose the vehicle's purchase price. The purchase price is considered a material term which therefore cannot be omitted as a result of the aforementioned. Certain manufacturers currently offer programs through captive finance companies whereby the consumer can participate with 0 percent interest or a rebate of $1500 to $3000-or in some instances, both. However, remember that this rebate is considered limited in scope; not everyone will qualify for that program. The advertisement would have to comply with Section 475.530 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, concerning rebates. You may advertise the availability of the rebate if the terms and limitations are clearly and conspicuously disclosed. However, it is an unfair or deceptive act for any dealer to advertise a price in which limited rebates have been deducted, or for a manufacturer or a dealer association to total the limited rebate with the general rebate. The Chicago office of the Better Business Bureau continues to see serious problems regarding advertised prices. Remember it is imperative that a vehicle must be sold for no more than its advertised price, and the price advertised must be available to everyone- regardless of whether they have seen any special advertisement by your dealership. If you have any questions or concerns about any current advertising practices please submit them to Steve Bernas director of operations for the BBB, at 312-245-2514 or The e-mail address correlates with the BBB-Chicago's Web site,, which contains the state's up-to-date advertising regulations. All correspondence remains confidential in accordance with the current BBB/CATA Ad Review Program. Also, make sure to disseminate these BBB tips to all personnel responsible for creating dealer advertisements.