A complaint against used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars has been upheld after it was found advertising a car at nearly half the price of what could actually be found online.
A television advertisement for the company featured a Mazda Axela 2009 for sale "from $5989 + ORC", however the complainant, J Larsen, told the Advertising Standards Authority they found this advertisement misleading.
The 2 Cheap Cars"television advertisement featured a presenter at a car yard standing in
front of a car.
She asked the woman standing next to her "How much do you think the Mazda Axela costs?"
The woman replied "8000?"
The presenter then removed a large piece of paper from the windscreen of the car to reveal the following wording on the windscreen: "2 Cheap Cars Mazda Axela: From $5989 + ORC."
The ad then directed the consumer to 2 Cheap Car's website for more information.
However, the complainant said after checking the 2 Cheap Cars website they could not find any models at that price.
The only Mazda Axela 2009 cars they could find were priced over $11,000.
The Complaints Board accepted the view of the complainant and agreed the advertisement was misleading because the price advertised in the television advertisement was not available on the website.
2 Cheap Cars did not respond to "many attempts" at contact by the board, which expressed concern at the company's lack of willingness to engage with the principles of self regulation.
The Complaints Board said in circumstances where the advertiser does not provide a response to a complaint, the board can only make its decision on the basis of the information provided.
It was found to breach the advertising code of ethics by being untruthful in its presentation and not preparing the advertisement with a due sense of social responsibility.
The Complaints Board ruled to uphold the complaint, saying no further action was required.