Chicago company sued over economic stimulus ads

Chris Rizo Mar. 3, 2009, 3:54pm

Lisa Madigan (D)

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline)-An Illinois advertising company is being sued for allegedly airing deceptive commercials about President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.

Prime Market Targeting Inc., which produces ads for car dealerships, was sued Tuesday in Cook County Court by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The attorney general said the ads falsely claim that under Obama's plan, which was recently approved by Congress, consumers will not have to pay sales tax on automobile purchases.

Madigan noted that the federal stimulus packages provides for a sales tax deduction not a tax credit, and consumers are still required to pay the automobile sales tax.

"In these difficult economic times when consumers are doing all they can to stay afloat and manage their money wisely, these deceptive commercials are especially troubling," said Madigan, a Democrat.

The lawsuit claims that Prime Market Targeting violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Illinois Administrative Rules on Motor Vehicle Advertising.

In addition to seeking to bar the company from selling automobile-related advertising in Illinois, the lawsuit seeks restitution for consumers and asks the court to assess civil penalties of $50,000 per violation, and an additional $50,000 statutory civil penalty.

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