Why were Avis and Budget not fined more for misleading advertising?
Car rental companies Avis Canada and Budget Canada have agreed to pay $3.25 million in fines for misleading advertising, just over 10 percent of the fee initially sought by the Canadian Competition Bureau.
A Competition Bureau investigation concluded that certain prices and discounts initially advertised by the two companies were not attainable because consumers were charged additional mandatory fees that were only disclosed later when making a reservation.
The prices were advertised on Avis and Budget’s websites, mobile applications and in emails, as well as in certain newspaper advertisements, television commercial and flyers.
The Bureau found that the representations were misleading even though an estimate of the fees was disclosed before consumers completed their reservation. The mandatory fees could increase the cost of a car rental by 5-20 percent above the original advertised price, depending on the rental location and vehicle type.
To address the Bureau’s concerns, Avis and Budget will now not advertise car rentals and associated products at prices that are not attainable due to additional mandatory fees. Furthermore, the companies will revise the description of the additional fees to ensure they do not give the misleading impression that governments and agencies require them.
However, the $30 million will not be attained. This is largely because the companies still deny any wrongdoing, telling the Huffington Post that they agreed the $3.25 million in order to avoid further cost and disruption caused by ongoing legal proceedings. The Bureau still believes the case result is strong enough to deter advertisers from doing this in the future.
John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition, said: "Prices advertised to consumers, including on digital platforms, must be accurate. I am confident that the Bureau’s investigation and settlement of this case will serve as an important deterrent to false or misleading advertising in the Canadian marketplace."
Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review USA & Canada magazine
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.