Where does the FTC draw the line on misleading advertising? Here is a recent example of a recent ad the FTC thought went too far. What do you think?
So what makes this ad misleading? You might ask your students what would make this ad misleading. It turns out at least two factors contributed to the FTC’s decision. First, the truck couldn’t actually do what it proposed. Cables hidden in the sand actually pulled the dune buggy up the dune. Second, the sand dune was modified to make it look steeper that it really was. While Nissan claimed the video was meant to portray a “fantasy scenario” — the FTC also felt that making it look like a YouTube video was also misleading. The ad does include a small disclaimer “Fictionalization. Do not attempt” which runs in small type in the first three seconds of the ad. For more details, see “FTC Says ‘No Way’ to Nissan Frontier – Pushing Dune Buggy Ad” (Adweek, January 23, 2014).
This video might be shown when you cover legal or ethical issues in advertising.