Imports Drive Auto-Ad Increases

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Automotive spot-TV ad spending was up 11% in the first half of 2004, primarily on the strength of import brands. By contrast, total auto-ad spending (TV, radio, outdoor and print) was up only 5.2%.

That's according to a Television Bureau of Advertising analysis of data from CMR.

Dragging down the spot average were the Big Three U.S. automakers (Ford, GM, DaimlerChrysler), whose spending was up only 2.3% to $1.165 billion. By contrast, spending by the 10 foreign automotive car makers was up by 23.4% to $998 million.

Spot TV took the lion's share, but just barely, of total auto ad spending at 27.6%, just edging out newspapers at 27.4%. Broadcast network TV was third with 20.3%. Again, that was driven by the foreign automakers, who spent the greatest percentage of their money on spot TV. By contrast, U.S, automakers invested more in print.

TVB suggested that the foreign automakers investment in spot had been the wiser play, pointing out that Big Three unit sales were off .5% for the same period, while unit sales of the foreign manufacturers were up 7.1%.

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