Auto Ad Spend Dips in 1Q

NEW YORK Automotive ad spending on spot TV declined slightly in the first quarter of 2006, as two of the Big Three reduced their respective expenditures and Ford just marginally increased its outlay.

According to the Television Bureau of Advertising’s analysis of TNS Media Intelligence data, auto ad spending on spot TV was off slightly less than 1 percent year-over-year, as the Big Three’s cumulative spend decreased by 4.5 percent.

Daimler/Chrysler reduced spot spending by almost 10 percent in the quarter, while category leader General Motors dropped 5.6 percent with a $205 million outlay. Ford increased its spot spend by 1.5 percent to $187 million for the period, putting it in third place behind GM and Toyota, which increased its spot spend by 14.8 percent ($188 million).

Overall, foreign automakers grew their spend 4 percent.

The greatest turnarounds in the quarter were among foreign automakers, as Mazda upped its spend 96.5 percent, BMW was up 33 percent and Volkswagen increased 26 percent. The traditionally low-spending Isuzu cut its spot spend 43.6 percent, while Mitsubishi slashed its spend by 75 percent. Mitsubishi spent a total $235 million on all advertising in 2005, according to data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The TVB analysis takes into account all factory, dealer association and local dealer outlays.