Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release -- Monday, April 28, 1997.
Miller: Champion Auto Stores, Inc.,
Settles False Advertising Complaint

States Said it Was Misleading Not to Disclose that Only One 1970 Mustang Prize Was Offered in Promotions at 167 Stores in 11 States over 18 Months.

DES MOINES-- Champion Auto Stores, Inc., which has eight stores in Iowa, has settled a false advertising complaint by four states which alleged that Champion advertising misrepresented a recent prize contest for a "1970 Ford Mustang or $25,000."

"We alleged that Champion ads created a false impression that there would be one winner at each store location and for each promotion," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "In reality, there was only one Ford Mustang prize for some 167 Champion Auto stores in eleven states, and the promotions ran for a year and a half for various grand openings and special sales. That's misleading. It's unfair to customers and to competitors."

In any future prize promotion advertisements, Champion agreed to clearly disclose the date of the prize award, the duration of the contest, the number of states in which the prize contest is being conducted, and the approximate odds of winning. Champion also agreed to pay $5,000 each to Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin to settle the complaint.

The attorneys general for the four states also said it was misleading for Champion to advertise a $25,000 cash alternative to the Mustang prize when the money was actually a $25,000 savings bond with a cash value on issuance of $12,500. Champion ultimately agreed to offer the contest winner a choice of the car or $25,000 cash rather than the savings bond, and the winner, selected last December, chose the $25,000.

Champion Auto Stores, Inc., is based in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Champion stores in Iowa are located in Carroll, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs (two stores), Des Moines, Mason City, and Sioux City (two stores.)