§ 1013.7 Advertising.
(a) General rule. An advertisement for a consumer lease may state that a specific lease of property at specific amounts or terms is available only if the lessor usually and customarily leases or will lease the property at those amounts or terms.
1. Persons covered. All “persons” must comply with the advertising provisions in this section, not just those that meet the definition of a lessor in § 1013.2(h). Thus, automobile dealers (to the extent they are not excluded from the Bureau's rulemaking authority by section 1029 of the Dodd-Frank Act), merchants, and others who are not themselves lessors must comply with the advertising provisions of the regulation if they advertise consumer lease transactions. Pursuant to section 184(b) of the Act, however, owners and personnel of the media in which an advertisement appears or through which it is disseminated are not subject to civil liability for violations under section 185(b) of the Act.
2. “Usually and customarily.” Section 1013.7(a) does not prohibit the advertising of a single item or the promotion of a new leasing program, but prohibits the advertising of terms that are not and will not be available. Thus, an advertisement may state terms that will be offered for only a limited period or terms that will become available at a future date.
3. Total contractual obligation of advertised lease. Section 1013.7 applies to advertisements for consumer leases, as defined in § 1013.2(e). Under § 1013.2(e), a consumer lease is exempt from the requirements of this part if the total contractual obligation exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation. See comment 2(e)-9. Accordingly, § 1013.7 does not apply to an advertisement for a specific consumer lease if the total contractual obligation for that lease exceeds the threshold amount in effect when the advertisement is made. If a lessor promotes multiple consumer leases in a single advertisement, the entire advertisement must comply with § 1013.7 unless all of the advertised leases are exempt under § 1013.2(e). For example:
i. Assume that, in an advertisement, a lessor states that certain terms apply to a consumer lease for a specific automobile. The total contractual obligation of the advertised lease exceeds the threshold amount in effect when the advertisement is made. Although the advertisement does not refer to any other lease, some or all of the advertised terms for the exempt lease also apply to other leases offered by the lessor with total contractual obligations that do not exceed the applicable threshold amount. The advertisement is not required to comply with § 1013.7 because it refers only to an exempt lease.
ii. Assume that, in an advertisement, a lessor states certain terms (such as the amount due at lease signing) that will apply to consumer leases for automobiles of a particular brand. However, the advertisement does not refer to a specific lease. The total contractual obligations of the leases for some of the automobiles will exceed the threshold amount in effect when the advertisement is made, but the total contractual obligations of the leases for other automobiles will not exceed the threshold. The entire advertisement must comply with § 1013.7 because it refers to terms for consumer leases that are not exempt.
iii. Assume that, in a single advertisement, a lessor states that certain terms apply to consumer leases for two different automobiles. The total contractual obligation of the lease for the first automobile exceeds the threshold amount in effect when the advertisement is made, but the total contractual obligation of the lease for the second automobile does not exceed the threshold. The entire advertisement must comply with § 1013.7 because it refers to a consumer lease that is not exempt.
(b) Clear and conspicuous standard. Disclosures required by this section shall be made clearly and conspicuously.
1. Standard. The disclosures in an advertisement in any media must be reasonably understandable. For example, very fine print in a television advertisement or detailed and very rapidly stated information in a radio advertisement does not meet the clear and conspicuous standard if consumers cannot see and read or hear, and cannot comprehend, the information required to be disclosed.
(1) Amount due at lease signing or delivery. Except for the statement of a periodic payment, any affirmative or negative reference to a charge that is a part of the disclosure required under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section shall not be more prominent than that disclosure.
1. Itemization not required. Only a total of amounts due at lease signing or delivery is required to be disclosed, not an itemization of its component parts. Such an itemization is provided in any transaction-specific disclosures provided under § 1013.4.
2. Prominence rule. Except for a periodic payment, oral or written references to components of the total due at lease signing or delivery (for example, a reference to a capitalized cost reduction, where permitted) may not be more prominent than the disclosure of the total amount due at lease signing or delivery.
(2) Advertisement of a lease rate. If a lessor provides a percentage rate in an advertisement, the rate shall not be more prominent than any of the disclosures in § 1013.4, with the exception of the notice in § 1013.4(s) required to accompany the rate; and the lessor shall not use the term “annual percentage rate,” “annual lease rate,” or equivalent term.
1. Location of statement. The notice required to accompany a percentage rate stated in an advertisement must be placed in close proximity to the rate without any other intervening language or symbols. For example, a lessor may not place an asterisk next to the rate and place the notice elsewhere in the advertisement. In addition, with the exception of the notice required by § 1013.4(s), the rate cannot be more prominent than any other § 1013.4 disclosure stated in the advertisement.
(c) Catalogs or other multipage advertisements; electronic advertisements. A catalog or other multipage advertisement, or an electronic advertisement (such as an advertisement appearing on an Internet Web site), that provides a table or schedule of the required disclosures shall be considered a single advertisement if, for lease terms that appear without all the required disclosures, the advertisement refers to the page or pages on which the table or schedule appears.
1. General rule. The multiple-page advertisements referred to in § 1013.7(c) are advertisements consisting of a series of numbered pages - for example, a supplement to a newspaper. A mailing comprising several separate flyers or pieces of promotional material in a single envelope is not a single multiple-page advertisement.
2. Cross references. A catalog or other multiple-page advertisement or an electronic advertisement (such as an advertisement appearing on an internet Web site) is a single advertisement (requiring only one set of lease disclosures) if it contains a table, chart, or schedule with the disclosures required under § 1013.7(d)(2)(i) through (v). If one of the triggering terms listed in § 1013.7(d)(1) appears in a catalog, or in a multiple-page or electronic advertisement, it must clearly direct the consumer to the page or location where the table, chart, or schedule begins. For example, in an electronic advertisement, a term triggering additional disclosures may be accompanied by a link that directly connects the consumer to the additional information.
(d) Advertisement of terms that require additional disclosure —
(1) Triggering terms. An advertisement that states any of the following items shall contain the disclosures required by paragraph (d)(2) of this section, except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section:
1. Typical example. When any triggering term appears in a lease advertisement, the additional terms enumerated in § 1013.7(d)(2)(i) through (v) must also appear. In a multi-lease advertisement, an example of one or more typical leases with a statement of all the terms applicable to each may be used. The examples must be labeled as such and must reflect representative lease terms that are made available by the lessor to consumers.
(i) The amount of any payment; or
(ii) A statement of any capitalized cost reduction or other payment (or that no payment is required) prior to or at consummation or by delivery, if delivery occurs after consummation.
(2) Additional terms. An advertisement stating any item listed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section shall also state the following items:
1. Third-party fees that vary by state or locality. The disclosure of a periodic payment or total amount due at lease signing or delivery may:
i. Exclude third-party fees, such as taxes, licenses, and registration fees and disclose that fact; or
ii. Provide a periodic payment or total that includes third-party fees based on a particular state or locality as long as that fact and the fact that fees may vary by state or locality are disclosed.
(i) That the transaction advertised is a lease;
(ii) The total amount due prior to or at consummation or by delivery, if delivery occurs after consummation;
(iii) The number, amounts, and due dates or periods of scheduled payments under the lease;
(iv) A statement of whether or not a security deposit is required; and
(v) A statement that an extra charge may be imposed at the end of the lease term where the lessee's liability (if any) is based on the difference between the residual value of the leased property and its realized value at the end of the lease term.
(e) Alternative disclosures - merchandise tags. A merchandise tag stating any item listed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section may comply with paragraph (d)(2) of this section by referring to a sign or display prominently posted in the lessor's place of business that contains a table or schedule of the required disclosures.
1. Multiple-item leases. Multiple-item leases that utilize merchandise tags requiring additional disclosures may use the alternate disclosure rule.
(f) Alternative disclosures - television or radio advertisements —
(1) Toll-free number or print advertisement. An advertisement made through television or radio stating any item listed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section complies with paragraph (d)(2) of this section if the advertisement states the items listed in paragraphs (d)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section, and:
1. Publication in general circulation. A reference to a written advertisement appearing in a newspaper circulated nationally, for example, USA Today or the Wall Street Journal, may satisfy the general circulation requirement in § 1013.7(f)(1)(ii).
2. Toll-free number, local or collect calls. In complying with the disclosure requirements of § 1013.7(f)(1)(i), a lessor must provide a toll-free number for nonlocal calls made from an area code other than the one used in the lessor's dialing area. Alternatively, a lessor may provide any telephone number that allows a consumer to reverse the phone charges when calling for information.
3. Multi-purpose number. When an advertised toll-free number responds with a recording, lease disclosures must be provided early in the sequence to ensure that the consumer receives the required disclosures. For example, in providing several dialing options - such as providing directions to the lessor's place of business - the option allowing the consumer to request lease disclosures should be provided early in the telephone message to ensure that the option to request disclosures is not obscured by other information.
4. Statement accompanying toll free number. Language must accompany a telephone and television number indicating that disclosures are available by calling the toll-free number, such as “call 1-(800) 000-0000 for details about costs and terms.”
(i) Lists a toll-free telephone number along with a reference that such number may be used by consumers to obtain the information required by paragraph (d)(2) of this section; or
(ii) Directs the consumer to a written advertisement in a publication of general circulation in the community served by the media station, including the name and the date of the publication, with a statement that information required by paragraph (d)(2) of this section is included in the advertisement. The written advertisement shall be published beginning at least three days before and ending at least ten days after the broadcast.
(2) Establishment of toll-free number.
(i) The toll-free telephone number shall be available for no fewer than ten days, beginning on the date of the broadcast.
(ii) The lessor shall provide the information required by paragraph (d)(2) of this section orally, or in writing upon request.