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FedEx Skips Super Bowl

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NEW YORK FedEx today said it would not run a Super Bowl ad for the first time in 12 years.

Director of advertising Steve Pacheco posted a statement on the company Web site citing “unprecedented economic waters” as the reason FedEx is opting not to buy a spot. The average ad is running about $3 million this year. “There is a time to justify such an ad spend and a time to step back,” he said.

A FedEx rep confirmed Pacheco’s statement.

While most of the game’s inventory is sold out, observers have noted that NBC may have a tough time selling some of the remaining slots given the economy. Sports in general, once thought to be recession-proof, have been suffering soft sales of late.

FedEx has advertised in 18 Super Bowls since 1989. Pacheco credited its participation in the broadcast as allowing “FedEx to establish itself as a household name.” BBDO, New York, is FedEx’s agency.

The company spent nearly $100 million on media for the first 10 months of the year and $160 million in 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.