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Exxon to Run Ads to Resolve FTC Charges

(Bloomberg News)

Exxon Corp. has signed a consent agreement with federal regulators in which the nation’s largest oil company will run television ads informing consumers that more expensive, high-octane fuels aren’t better for most cars than other grades of gasoline. In an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, Exxon agreed to run the ads to resolve charges that it misled consumers with advertising claims that its Exxon 93 Supreme gasoline can keep engines cleaner, cut maintenance costs and improve performance. This is the latest and toughest settlement the FTC has reached with gasoline companies over the benefits of high-octane gas. In the last six years, Amoco Oil Co., Unocal Corp. and Sun Co. settled similar charges. Irving, Texas-based Exxon, which had planned to fight the agency’s charges in court, admitted no wrongdoing. Instead, the company called the settlement a “win-win solution.” One term of the settlement, the company said, was to establish a standard set of four tests to check the effect of gasoline on a car engine.


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