BBB National Programs Archive

Carfax Discontinues Challenged Television Commercial; NAD Finds Company Took Necessary Action in Doing So

New York, NY – June 12, 2013 – Carfax, Inc., which provides vehicle history reports for used cars, discontinued certain broadcast advertising following receipt of an inquiry letter from the National Advertising Division.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

NAD had requested that the advertiser provide substantiation for certain express and implied claims that appeared in television commercials for Carfax, including:

  •  “You want to see the accidents and service records reported to CARFAX and a price based on the car’s history.”
  •  “Just give me the Carfax.”
  •  “Before you buy a car, just say ‘Show me the Carfax’.”
  •  “Don’t run the risk of buying used cars with costly hidden problems. Get a detailed vehicle history report from our nationwide database within seconds.”

Upon receiving NAD’s letter opening this inquiry, the advertiser advised NAD that while it believed the challenged advertising was truthful and accurate, it decided, for business reasons, to discontinue the challenged television commercial.

NAD believed the challenged television commercial reasonably communicated the implied message that consumers interested in purchasing a used car can rely solely on a Carfax report for a vehicle’s complete history. NAD appreciated the advertiser’s permanent discontinuance of the television commercial, an action it deemed necessary and proper under the circumstances.

In its advertiser’s statement, Carfax stated that it “appreciates NAD’s efforts and supports the self-regulatory process.”