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Puffery Examples


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A small sampling of puffery in automotive advertising:

  1. "Hi Mr. Smith, this is Billy Bob from Billy Bob's Auto Emporium. My used car department is telling me that we have a shortage of {whatever vehicle customer currently has}. Would you be interested in selling me yours?"
    Spoiler alert: If a new car dealership is calling, writing, or emailing you it is most very likely either: To service the car that you currently have, or... wait for it... TO SELL YOU A NEW CAR.

  2. Blaring from your radio or television speakers during commercials: "All applications will be accepted!!!"
    Or alternatively:

  3. "All applications will be approved!!!"
    The mental gymnastics game that the dealerships are playing is that the dealerships will accept the applications and approve them to be submitted to actual lenders... who will then approve or deny the applications.

  4. "Push it, pull it, tow it! We'll give you a minimum of $XX,000 on your trade towards a new or used car!!!"
    I am highly skeptical that any auto dealership can find the forumla for alchemy that can make a junk car worth however many thousands of dollars.
    Isaac Newton was famously unable to derive a formula with which to turn lead into gold.
    In the roughly 300 years since Newton's death maybe your local auto dealership staff has succeeded where Newton could not, but then again... maybe they didn't.

Advertisements making similar statements are very common in many states. However, in for example California, an advertisement making such a statement might not fall within the safe harbor of "puffery". It might be illegal. However, the reality is that some advertisers will not merely test the limits of what is legally allowable but rather choose to venture well beyond what is legal.
The fact that some businesses may choose to operate within the law may make conduct that is not legally permissable all the more successful for those firms that choose to operate outside the law.