View the video script: ‘Bait and Switch’.

View the video script: ‘Bait and Switch’. Write a report tha
View the video script: ‘Bait and Switch’. Write a report that answers the following:

  1. Betty drove three hours in one-hundred degree heat. Explain if this fact has any bearing on whether or not the dealer must perform in accordance with the published advertisement.
  2. When Tony said over the phone ‘three thousand dollars firm’, explain whether or not he was making an offer that, if accepted, would bind the dealership in contract.
  3. Explain whether or not advertised specials can be taken advantage of by employees of the advertiser.
  4. Explain to what extent an advertisement binds the advertiser to the terms of the advertisement.
  5. Explain to what extent an advertisement has to be true.

Video 48: Advertising and Communication Law: Bait and Switch – Script


CLOSE ON the front door, which swings open to reveal Mrs. Betty Algur. She is our multi-talented stock actress and appears, this time out, as a sixty-year-old farmer’s wife. She has been driving most of the morning to reach this unfamiliar auto dealership. Her trips to “civilization” are limited, and she has the wide-eyed look of a tourist, combined with the happy expression of someone who has finally reached her destination.

REACTION SHOT on Tony, as he sees her come in. He stands at his desk, smiling.

Tony Long trip?

Betty Honey, you don’t know the half of it. A three-hour drive in the valley, and what’s it like out there? One hundred degrees. Nice and cold in here though . . .

Tony Air conditioning.

Betty Yeah. I guess so. Well anyway, I made it.
ANOTHER ANGLE-as Betty reaches into a large, patchwork-quilt handbag and takes out a newspaper, turned to the auto ads.

Betty Might as well get down to business. I know what I want. This pickup truck you got advertised, the one here for eleven thousand, three hundred, and ninety-nine dollars.

ANOTHER ANGLE-as Tony goes forward and looks at the newspaper ad, at the same time introducing himself.

Tony Tony Sulka.

Betty Betty Algur. From up near Vacaville.

Tony Well come on over and sit down. Vacaville . . . that means “cow town,” doesn’t it?

Betty Six hundred of them on our ranch, the last time I counted.

Tony How about a cup of coffee?

He leads her over to his desk and sits her down, but remains standing himself.

Betty Okay. More than two hundred miles. Drove it all in an old Ford pickup, with the original engine and every one of the original rattles. I called over the phone, and the man said he’d give me three thousand dollars in trade for it.

Tony Oh yeah, I remember. That was me.

Betty Well, it’s all yours.

Tony Of course, we’ve got to take a look at it first.

Betty Oh, really? That’s not what you said on the phone. You said three thousand firm.

ANOTHER ANGLE-Tony wants to change the subject, and he does:

Tony Cream? Sugar?

Betty Oh, thank you, but I take my coffee black.

Tony Your trip was worth it. We’ve got some wonderful trucks and some great bargains.

Betty thumps the newspaper in her hand.

Betty Well, the bargain that I’m interested in is the one you got listed right here in the paper: eleven thousand, three hundred, and ninety-nine dollars.

Tony Now, how do you know that you want that truck? Wouldn’t it make sense to look at all the trucks and make a choice?

Betty Well, I guess . . . sure. But I don’t want to waste your time when I know what I want.

Tony You like the color charcoal gray.

Betty I guess . . .

Tony We’ve got a brand-new, charcoal-gray truck with custom wheels, air conditioning, four-wheel drive. It was just delivered.

Betty How much is that one?

Tony It’s a real bargain. It’s got a list price of twenty-two thousand, but since you’ve driven all the way from Vacaville-and to be honest with ya, I just kinda like ya-we’ll take a couple thousand off the price . . .

Betty (firmly) Look, son, I’ll just take this one here that you’ve got written up in the paper.

Tony That one, I’m afraid, has been sold.

Betty Well, I’ll take another one just like the one that you sold. I don’t really care what color it is.

Tony I’m afraid we only had one at that price.

Betty What? Only one?

Tony At that price. See it says so, right in the newspaper.

Betty No, it sure does not.
Tony Yes it does. Look!

ANOTHER ANGLE-as Tony pulls open the drawer of his desk and takes out a magnifying glass.

Tony “Just one at this price. Number 121567.”

ANOTHER ANGLE-as Betty puts on her reading glasses, takes the magnifying glass from Tony, puts it close to the paper, and squints. It is very small type.

Betty Just a minute. Why, you can’t hardly make that out. I sure didn’t see it. Why, you would need a microscope to read that.

Tony Don’t worry. We have hundreds of trucks.

Betty Do you have any that cost eleven thousand, three hundred, and
ninety-nine dollars?

Tony Sure, but you want wheels . . .
Tony smiles.
That’s a car joke, Ma’m. Wheels . . . like you wouldn’t get them . . . no, I’m afraid that was the only one at that price. We sold it this morning.

Betty This morning? It’s not even nine o’clock yet. I got up before the sun was up and drove like crazy for three hours. And you’re telling me someone beat me to it!

Tony Jim-he works in our service department-bought it at six A.M.

Betty Oh, now that’s not fair.

Tony And I agree with you. So, I’m going to do something very special. Now we don’t normally do this, but after all the time you’ve put in, I’m going to take an extra thousand dollars off any truck in our lot. Let’s go look at them, okay?

Betty What’s the cheapest truck in your lot?

Tony That all depends on how you define cheap. What might seem cheap to you might seem expensive to me . . .

Betty Well that makes a whole lot of sense, now, doesn’t it? Let’s say we both talk cheap as in how much a truck costs.

Tony After title taxes and registration or before . . . with custom wheels or without . . . you want a CD player or a regular tape deck . . . four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive . . .

A BEAT-Betty looks at Tony, who has run out of steam, and is now staring at the floor. There is a sudden CHANGE OF TONE. We bring up the background noises, which we have not heard before: perhaps a truck passing on the highway outside, the hum of the air conditioning, the click of heels as someone walks across the floor.

Betty (quietly) We sell cows by the pound. No options at all, not even choice of color. Probably would help if you sold your cars that way.
I can’t get a straight answer out of you, can I, Tony?
Now, the way I see this, either you get me a truck like the one you got advertised here in the paper, or you get to see my lawyer.

Tony (startled) Why I believe you’d do that, too!

Betty (squints) Count on it.

ANOTHER ANGLE-as Tony stands up.

Tony I believe it’s possible that Jim has not yet signed the final papers on number 121567. Let’s go check it out.
ANOTHER ANGLE-Betty allows a slight smile to flick across her face and stands up.

Betty Let’s do that.

ANOTHER ANGLE-as they walk across the show-room floor together.