The FTC settled its grievance with Nissan and their ad agency TWBA for the "unrealistic" ads they made for the Frontier in 2012, prohibiting them "from using deceptive demonstrations in advertisements for pickup trucks." Since that was already illegal, this settlement is just as bullshit as the ads themselves.
You remember those absurd ads, right? The one where the Frontier does a barrel roll off a ski jump was my favorite, and I honestly didn't think anyone could have mistaken the truck's actions in the commercial as anything approaching "physically possible."
Yet apparently I was in the minority, as the FTC had beef with Nissan over these commercials. Especially the one where a Frontier pushes a dune buggy up a sandy slope.
Yeah, there was a wee little "FICTIONALIZATION. DO NOT ATTEMPT." badge on the corner of the screen for a few seconds, but that wasn't good enough for the FTC. Their Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich told Consumerist; "Special effects in ads can be entertaining, but advertisers can't use them to misrepresent what a product can do. This ad made the Nissan Frontier appear capable of doing something it can't do."
So today the official decree was issued from the FTC's perch of mightiness: "Don't do it again." Justice is served!
Hat top to Bob Lawless!