Industry News

FTC investigates biweekly payments

Blowing my own horn I suppose…I have been saying for years this is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. None of our clients do bi-weekly. Took the FTC 10 years to catch on. BE CAREFUL, you may wanna stop.

FTC investigates biweekly payments

Jim Henry
Automotive News | May 14, 2014 – 12:01 am EST
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating biweekly payments as a product sold in dealership F&I departments, according to a memo the National Automobile Dealers Association sent members last week.

“NADA Legal and Regulatory Affairs has received a number of questions and comments about biweekly payment F&I products and it has also come to NADA’s attention that the FTC has recently issued civil investigative demands to dealers in connection with such products,” the May 8 memo said. (more…)

Interns to boost social media

By Brian Pasch

Dealers who have been struggling to create a consistent social media presence, may turn to third party vendors to assist with their social media. However, many of the social media companies serving car dealers use cookie cutter templates and post the same content for hundreds of dealers across OEM brands.

I was doing some editing on my upcoming book, “Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing“, and I thought I would share something with you in advance of the release date.

If you are looking to stand out from your local competitors, and create a strong social media strategy, why not leverage your local colleges, universities, and community colleges and start a social media internship program?
You might be surprised how easy it can be to get interns from a local college or university to assist you with your social media and/or video marketing strategy. Marketing and advertising majors need field experience for their portfolio. Social media and video production are core element in their studies.

If you can define a job description for an intern program you very well can attract passionate candidates to fill in some of the holes in your social media strategy. Few dealers have a dedicated videographer but any local school that offers a degree of marketing, advertising, or mixed media production will have eager video technicians that need material for their portfolio.

The key to making an internship work is management of tasks that the interns will be completing. They will need to learn about your brand, your value proposition, and your sales strategy. They will need your time but when done properly, you can get tremendous value and creativity from your interns.

Sample Internship Brochure

internship-program-brochureIf you want to get the placement office in the local college to take notice in your program, you need to create a professional brochure. To assist you in creating a brochure to send to local colleges, universities, and community colleges, here is some text that you can repurpose for your dealership.

Keep in mind that the more professional the brochure or document, the more qualified candidates will apply because the placement office will consider the program a great opportunity.

Overview: The Social Media intern program will empower students to create, interact, and engage consumers online under the supervision of our internal marketing team. The real life experience will be invaluable to their career.

The Social Media intern program is designed to give aspiring students the opportunity to plan, strategize, implement, and engage consumers using our social and digital marketing platforms. The ability to engage consumers on behalf of our successful dealership will develop the skills needed to advance in the student’s choice of career path.

Time Commitment: Interns will be required to invest a minimum of 15 hours a week to be considered for this program. Some of those hours can be logged remotely but candidates will be required to be in our offices at least two days a week. The program’s success relies on the intern’s ability to learn and assimilate the culture of our organization to allow them to properly represent us online.

Responsibilities of Social Media Intern: The intern will be responsible for enhancing the dealership’s social media and digital presence, which includes:

• Maintain company blog with new content
• Tweet and respond to consumers on Twitter
• Post and engage with consumers on Facebook
• Upload and syndicate customer testimonial videos
• Monitor consumer review websites for commentary
• Update company website to increase engagement
• Testing social media advertising campaigns
• Develop graphics to be used in social media efforts

How To Apply: Interested candidates should submit their digital resume to: Brian Pasch at: The digital resume should include a link to a video, which introduces the intern and explains why they want to be selected for this program. No candidates will be considered without a video.

Get Started Today

A similar brochure can be created for a video intern who could assist the dealership with creating online marketing videos for sales, financing, after sales, accessories, and to produce customer testimonial videos. Many of the local colleges are winding down for the summer, so if you take action, you might scoop up some local students that have not found summer work.

However, this is not only an idea for the summer months. Your dealership can run a social media internship program all year round; broken out in semesters. Keep in mind that auto dealers are some of the largest and most visible businesses in every community. Auto dealers invest thousands of dollars a month in advertising, so your dealership is a perfect candidate to attract interns.

If you follow this advice and start an intern program, please send me a copy of your brochure for my records. If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media channels.