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Be Aware of Website Pop-ups

May 27, 2022
In the course of handling dealer advertising issues, the Better Business Bureau is increasingly seeing the use of pop-up coupons offering amounts off prices for those consumers who use the pop-up coupons.  Most often there is a stated dollar amount off the price and the consumer must present the pop-up at the dealership. Sometimes, there is a "special discount" where the amount is not named. The offer cannot be combined with other incentives.

These are often added to dealer website by their website developers and sometimes without knowledge by the dealer. We understand they are used to track consumer interest in the dealership.

However, such pop-ups impact Rule 475.590 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations which prohibits dealers from advertising or offering "…incentives in connection with the purchase or lease of a vehicle where the price is arrived at through bargaining or negotiation…"  An amount off the price directed at individual consumers impacts this rule.

In addition, Section 2J.1 of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act states: "No coupon may be offered in connection with the retail sale of any motor vehicle."

The BBB wishes to alert dealers to avoid the use of pop-ups as described here. We have written numerous letters on the issue and dealers remove these consistently. The pop-ups tend to come back, however, so consistent monitoring is important.

While these are unusual and trying times for dealers everywhere, Illinois dealers are still committed to following the rules as they continue to advertise often in new ways.

The BBB and CATA are here to assist dealers in this new and challenging environment.