UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In The Matter of
MARTIN ADVERTISING, INC., a corporation.
DOCKET NO. C-3846
DECISION AND ORDER
The Federal Trade Commission having initiated an investigation of certain acts and practices of the respondent named in the caption hereof, and the respondent having been furnished thereafter with a copy of a draft of complaint which the Bureau of Consumer Protection proposed to present to the Commission for its consideration and which, if issued by the Commission, would charge the respondent with violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act; and
The respondent, its attorneys, and counsel for the Commission having thereafter executed an agreement containing a consent order, an admission by the respondent of all the jurisdictional facts set forth in the aforesaid draft of complaint, a statement that the signing of said agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the respondent that the law has been violated as alleged in such complaint, or that the facts as alleged in such complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, are true and waivers and other provisions as required by the Commissions Rules; and
The Commission having thereafter considered the matter and having determined that it had reason to believe that the respondent has violated the said Act, and that a complaint should issue stating its charges in that respect, and having thereupon accepted the executed consent agreement and placed such agreement on the public record for a period of sixty (60) days, now in further conformity with the procedure prescribed in Section 2.34 of its Rules, the Commission hereby issues its complaint, makes the following jurisdictional findings and enters the following order:
1. "Clearly and conspicuously" as used herein shall mean:
2. "Total amount due at lease signing or delivery" as used herein shall mean the total amount of any initial payments required to be paid by the lessee on or before consummation of the lease or delivery of the vehicle, whichever is later, as required by Regulation M, 12 C.F.R. § 213, as amended. The total amount due at lease signing or delivery may: 1) exclude third- party fees, such as taxes, licenses, and registration fees, and disclose that fact, or 2) provide a total that includes third- party fees based on a particular state or locality as long as that fact and the fact that such fees may vary by state or locality are disclosed. (Sections 213.2 and 213.7 of Regulation M, 12 C.F.R. §§ 213.2 and 213.7, as amended.)
3. "Balloon payment" as used herein shall mean any scheduled payment with respect to a consumer credit transaction that is at least twice as large as the average of earlier scheduled payments.
4. Unless otherwise specified, "respondent" as used herein shall mean Martin Advertising, Inc., its successors and assigns, and its officers, agents, representatives, and employees.
5. "Commerce" as used herein shall mean as defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 44.
IT IS ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or any other device, in connection with any advertisement to aid, promote, or assist, directly or indirectly, any consumer lease involving motor vehicles in or affecting commerce, as "advertisement" and "consumer lease" are defined in Section 213.2 of Regulation M, 12 C.F.R. § 213.2, as amended, shall not, in any manner, expressly or by implication:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or any other device, in connection with any advertisement to aid, promote, or assist, directly or indirectly, any extension of closed-end credit involving motor vehicles in or affecting commerce, as "advertisement" and "closed-end credit" are defined in Section 226.2 of Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. § 226.2, as amended, shall not, in any manner, expressly or by implication:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Martin Advertising, Inc., and its successors and assigns, shall, for five (5) years after the date of service of this order, maintain and upon request make available to the Commission for inspection and copying all records that will demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Martin Advertising, Inc., and its successors and assigns, shall:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Martin Advertising, Inc., and its successors and assigns, shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in the corporation that may affect compliance obligations arising under this order, including but not necessarily limited to dissolution, assignment, sale, merger, or other action that would result in the emergence of a successor corporation; the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary, parent, or affiliate that engages in any acts or practices subject to this order; the proposed filing of a bankruptcy petition; or a change in the corporate name or address. Provided, however, that, with respect to any proposed change in the corporation about which respondent learns less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such action is to take place, respondent shall notify the Commission as soon as is practicable after obtaining such knowledge. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Martin Advertising, Inc., and its successors and assigns, shall within one hundred and twenty (120) days after the date of service of this order, and at such other times as the Federal Trade Commission may require, file with the Commission a report, in writing, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which they have complied with this order.
This order will terminate on January 4, 2019, or twenty (20) years from the most recent date that the United States or the Federal Trade Commission files a complaint (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court alleging any violation of the order, whichever comes later; provided, however, that the filing of such a complaint will not affect the duration of:
Provided further, that if such complaint is dismissed or a federal court rules that the respondent did not violate any provision of the order, and the dismissal or ruling is either not appealed or upheld on appeal, then the order will terminate according to this Part as though the complaint had never been filed, except that the order will not terminate between the date such complaint is filed and the later deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark
ISSUED: January 4, 1999