Local dealership to pay fine for misleading prize promotions

Posted Friday, July 26, 2013 --- 11:00 p.m.

According to the state consumer protection group, a local car dealership will pay a fine for misleading prize promotions last year.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said the Wisconsin Auto Center, doing business as Metro Ford of Madison, will pay a civil forfeiture of $76,892.50. This fine comes after alleged violations of state laws, including the prize notice law.

Starting in August 2012, Metro Ford mailed tens of thousands of prize notices to residents of south central Wisconsin in five different mailings, according to a DATCP news release. The state agency said the mailings encouraged residents to meet with Metro Ford representatives to receive their prize and consider purchasing a vehicle.

However, the mailings did not disclose the total number of prizes to be given away or the verifiable retail value of each prize.
The DATCP said that the odds of winning each prize were calculated incorrectly and were printed in a smaller type size than required by law. Also the prize notices did not disclose that a limited number of individuals were eligible for the prizes.

According to the release, ad part of the civil forfeiture agreement, Metro Ford did not admit to violating any Wisconsin laws.