The FTC says that a recent Nissan Frontier spot crossed the line.
The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Nissan and its ad agency, TBWA Worldwide, have an agreed to a settlement over allegations that a Frontier pickup commercial deceived consumers.
Entitled "Hill Climb," the YouTube-style spot depicted a Frontier coming to the aid of a stuck dune buggy and pushing it up a steep sand dune.
The FTC's problem with the advertisement: the Frontier isn't capable of performing that feat in real life. In fact, both the pickup and dune buggy were towed up the dune by cables, and an extreme camera angle was used to make the hill look steeper than it actually is.
"Special effects in ads can be entertaining, but advertisers can't use them to misrepresent what a product can do," Jessica Rich, the 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."
The settlement will prevent Nissan and TBWA from employing potentially misleading demonstrations in future pickup commercials, but neither will be required to pay fines.
The ad in question is viewable below.