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OMVIC begins car advertising awareness campaign

The Toronto-based Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council has begun a new advertising campaign intended to educate car buyers in that province about their right to all-in price advertising. The initiative is intended to raise awareness of the law that automotive dealers advertising prices for new or used cars must include in that price all fees and additional charges that may apply, exempting taxes and licensing fees. According to the organization, many dealers still attempt to add previously unstated fees to an advertised price, relying on consumer ignorance of the law.

The campaign includes a television commercial which suggests that consumers bring a photograph of the advertised price when they visit a dealership to shop for a car. The campaign also makes use of radio and online advertising, as well as social media activities. Radio ads will run in Mandarin and Cantonese, while Google search ads will run in French, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian.

"Less than half of Ontario car-buyers know they have a right to all-in price advertising" said John Carmichael, CEO of the council. "This is problematic because OMVIC still finds unacceptable levels of non-compliance with the all-in pricing regulations by some dealers. This illegal practice is not only unfair to car-buyers, it gives non-compliant dealers an unfair advantage. This messaging is designed to help empower consumers. If they have a copy of the advertisement and understand they have a right to all-in pricing, it will help consumers protect themselves should they encounter non-compliant advertising."

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