In late 1997, Mazda filed a claim with the American Arbitration Association in Los Angeles seeking $9 million in damages from FCB for liabilities stemming from the agency's auto lease ads that aired in 1996 and 1997. The agency, which resigned the account in 1997, filed a counterclaim for $5.5 million for unpaid commissions.
Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, but True North said in the SEC documents the agreement with Mazda didn't have a material impact on its finances.
In 1997, the Federal Trade Commission cited Mazda and several other automakers for misleading lease ads. Mazda eventually paid a $5.25 million fine, the highest ever to the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, for lease ads that ran in 1997 and early 1998. -- Jean Halliday
Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.