January 24, 2014 |
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.
January 23, 2014 |
California's health exchange said it would use an additional $155 million in federal grant money to address customer service woes and to boost low enrollment among the key market of uninsured Latinos. The Covered California exchange announced the injection of money from the Obama administration Thursday as it faced growing criticism for dismal service and a disappointing sign-up rate among Latinos. The state has led the nation with more than 625,000 people enrolled in health plans through mid-January, and it's a bellwether state for the national rollout of the Affordable Care Act. That large volume of enrollment, much of it coming last month, has often overwhelmed the state exchange and its participating health plans.
January 9, 2014 |
Four car dealers in Southern California agreed to a settlement with the U.S. government over accusations of deceptive advertising, part of a broader effort to keep a tighter rein on the auto industry. The dealers - which include Honda of Hollywood and Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos - were accused by the Federal Trade Commission of running ads that misrepresented the costs of buying or leasing automobiles. The agency's nationwide sweep, dubbed Operation Steer Clear, also targeted five dealerships outside the Golden State.
January 6, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Street's Jim Cramer was asked Monday about Twitter. He called the money-losing social media high flier a “love stock.” If that's the case, the honeymoon may soon be over. Twitter shares fell sharply Monday after a Morgan Stanley analyst cut his investment rating to the equivalent of sell and warned that advertisers are more likely to spend their dollars on Twitter's competitors. Shares closed down 4% to $66.29. But they have nearly tripled since Twitter went public at $26 on Nov. 7. Twitter's stock market value is a heady $37 billion.
December 25, 2013 |
The hottest holiday commercials this season have ditched the heartwarming, home-for-the-holidays scenes to strike a dramatically different chord. Advertising executives have instead chosen sly humor over sentiment, as major marketers including American Honda Motor Co., Netflix and K-Mart are betting that tongue-in-cheek sells. Perhaps for good reason: U.S. consumers are tired of sugarcoated Christmas commercials, according to a recent online survey of more than 2,000 consumers.
December 20, 2013 |
Cars don't fit under the typical Christmas tree, but a holiday buying surge could make December the biggest month in a big year for the auto industry. Heavy advertising and discounts could launch U.S. auto sales this month above the 1.5 million sold in August, the top month so far this year, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with car shopping website Edmunds.com. The December car sales frenzy is a new phenomenon. "Prior to the recession, December was very average," Caldwell said.