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Compliance

Dealer Fined $50K for Deceptive Ads Targeting Military

April 21, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Middle Tennessee dealer, Wholesale Inc., has agreed to immediately change its advertising practices and pay the State of Tennessee $50,000, Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced Monday.

A Davidson County Court approved the settlement between Wholesale, Inc., the Tennessee Attorney General's Office and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement centers around two advertising mailers sent to would-be customers. One of the mailers specifically targeted service members living near Fort Campbell.

After reviewing a service member's complaint filed at Fort Campbell, the state alleged that the defendant made numerous false representations in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. According to the state, a fictitious lender called "CreditAble Auto Funding" claimed to be "by military, for military" and was offering a limited amount of loans to military personnel.

"Our men and women in uniform deserve to be told the truth when considering a consumer purchase," said Attorney General Slatery. "My office will continue to pursue any business or person who acts unfairly or deceptively towards military members and their families."

Under the settlement, Wholesale Inc. is required to maintain proof to support all advertising claims and will be required to include the company name on all advertisements sent to consumers. Additionally, Wholesale Inc. is to develop written policies and procedures for reviewing and approving its advertisements.

"This is another example of teamwork between the Attorney General's Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs," said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini. "By working together, we strive to protect Tennessee consumers while still being a great place to do business."

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