Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs Dept begins probe into gas ad campaigns
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) has initiated an investigation into advertising campaigns used by several gasoline wholesalers, which include information that could be in violation of Regulations Against Deceptive Practices and Advertisements, agency Secretary Michael Pierluisi said.
The official said in written statements that “companies have an obligation to conduct responsible advertising campaigns that do not give false or misleading appearances and must have evidence of the truthfulness of their claims,” he said, adding that DACO regulations specifically prohibit conveying false, confusing or incorrect ideas.
Pierluisi said he is aware of ad campaigns that assure that gasoline with a higher octane rating provides greater benefits.
“Since 2012, the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines regarding the octane rating of gasoline, which stipulates that consumers should not spend their money using high octane gasoline unless recommended by the vehicle’s manual, and in the vast majority of cases, higher octane does not offer any benefit,” he said.
The consumer representative said that according to the FTC guidelines, using gasoline with a higher octane level than recommended by the vehicle’s manual is a waste of money.
“Premium gasoline costs considerably more than regular gasoline and, according to the FTC, there are studies that show that consumers could be wasting millions of dollars on high-octane gasoline unnecessarily,” he explained.
He said that the federal guidelines state, among other things, that “with higher-octane gas, your car will not work better or go faster. Nor will it last more or pollute less.”