In 2006, GM wanted to “do a better job of differentiating our eight brands in the marketplace,” said a company rep, adding this meant better matching the model with the media. For example, Pontiac has embraced both the Second Life digital world and online video games to highlight its youth-targeted “performance” image. This helped fuel a 36 percent jump in Web spending ($101 million) through September of this year over the same period in 2005, when the medium accounted for only 3 percent of the automaker’s total budget. TV spending is down 13 percent for the first nine months to $1 billion, but represents 57 percent of total ad spend, compared to 52 percent last year. The category taking the biggest hit in 2006 was print, per TNS, down almost 40 percent for the first nine months to $484 million after a 24 percent drop in 2005. Still, a company rep took issue with TNS’ report of a 20 percent dip in overall spending from 2005: “It’s not even close,” she said, adding that “full-year spending will be “roughly comparable” to last year.
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