Nissan Motor Co. and its U.S. advertising agency agreed Thursday to settle a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission over deceptive advertising charges.
The deal stems from a 30-second ad Nissan ran in 2011 for its midsize Frontier pickup truck. In the spot, created by TBWA Worldwide, the Frontier is seen driving up a steep dune to push a buggy stuck in the sand.
According to the FTC complaint, the actual truck couldn’t pull off such a feat — and cables were used for both vehicles, and the hill was modified to look significantly steeper than it really was — so the ad was found to violate the FTC Act.
“Special effects in ads can be entertaining, but advertisers can’t use them to misrepresent what a product can do,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “This ad made the Nissan Frontier appear capable of doing something it can’t do.”