Phone: 630-495-2282 Fax: 630-495-2260 Map/Directions

Stimulus packages ad stimulates AG lawsuit

November 15, 2010

The Illinois attorney general’s office is suing Frankfort-based PMT Advertising for a radio commercial that reportedly makes false and misleading claims about the new federal stimulus package, according to a lawsuit filed March 3.


The commercial, which aired in late February on two Chicago stations, tells listeners that in the wake of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, "the sales tax on your automobile purchase has been virtually eliminated." The spot also advises consumers that they can "(s)ave your sales tax and put up to $3,500 in your pocket," among other claims.


PMT Advertising produces ads for various businesses, including new- and used-car dealerships. Some of its ads develop leads that the agency sells or gives to dealers. The disputed ad directed listeners to a Web site,, which was not operating at this newsletter’s deadline.


The stimulus package signed last month by President Obama allows consumers to deduct the automobile sales tax on new cars purchased this year from Feb. 17 to Dec.31. But the deduction is to be claimed on federal income tax returns filed in 2010; it does not lower a car’s transactional price. 

Among other violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, the attorney general’s office said the ad suggests the stimulus package applies to all makes and models and that "no restrictions apply," when, in fact, it does contain restrictions on vehicle weight and price, and purchaser income.