Daily Archives: March 24, 2014

FTC Claims High Ground In Complaint Against Nissan/TBWA “Hill Climb” Spot

By: Brian J. Meli

The spot was called “Hill Climb,” but it thrust Nissan Motor Company and TBWA Worldwide into full reverse when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declared it deceptive and charged both the Japanese automaker and its advertising agency with violating federal consumer protection laws.

Naming TBWA as a party in its complaint was a significant move by the FTC, because it sent a clear message that the commission will continue to hold advertising agencies equally responsible for facilitating false or misleading claims when they know or should know that these claims contain material misrepresentations.

Why was this particular spot, which portrays a Nissan Frontier pickup truck racing up a precipitous sand dune to rescue a buggy, singled out in a competitive category loaded with sensational and over-the-top messaging?

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