South Korea attacks Volvo advertising

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SEOUL--Volvo, the Swedish automaker, is the latest multinational company to annoy South Korean authorities over claims made in advertising campaigns.

Hanjin Construction, which markets Volvo vehicles in South Korea, claims in advertising just released that it charges 5.31% interest on monthly hire purchase payments, well below the average.

But South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) says that, in fact, 5.31% applies only to a percentage of the payments and that the bulk of the monthly payments are repayable at 9.8%.

In a recent ad campaign Ford Korea contended that its passenger cars and trucks were the best sellers in the U.S. for nine years between 1985 and 1995.

While the FTC has taken no action against Ford, other automakers, including General Motors, have voiced strong criticism. GM says it is well known that GM leads the U.S. auto market overall.

Other U.S. companies, including Columbia-TriStar, the movie distribution company, and photographic film company Kodak have also been either warned or fined for allegedly using misleading advertising.

In Columbia-TriStar's case it was accused of repackaging an old movie allegedly to make it look like a new release.

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