WMJX-FM Boston promised contest winners a choice of three cars on air; but the online contest rules said instead the prize was a two-year lease on a car, and that only if the recipient could qualify for credit. GM protested a $4K notice of apparent liability.
Contestants in the pool to try to win the car did win a $106 gas card in honor of the station’s 106.7 MHz dial position.
Greater Media cited what it believed to be a precedential case in which the penalty paid by the offending station was an admonishment rather than a forfeiture, and asked for the same treatment.
The FCC responded that the cited case involved a reasonable misunderstanding of stated rules, whereas the WMJX case involves the failure to accurately state the rules on air or to use the air promotion to direct listeners to the contest rules online.
The fine stands.