Audi Idles Engine on ’93 Image Campaign

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. – Audi of America’s 1993 advertising plans are taking a drastic U-turn during at least the first half of 1993, as plans for a TV, radio and print image campaign have been temporarily shelved.
Instead, the troubled car company will focus exclusively on the company’s leasing program.
‘All of our marketing efforts for the first part of the year will support our lease program, through newspaper advertising, to help dealers get cars out on the road,’ said Bob Garrity, Audi manager of advertising. ‘I’m hoping to get back into our advertising program in the second half of the year.’
Ads to support the leasing program are scheduled to run in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily and Barron’s, according to Garrity. Audi spent heavily in radio in 1992 with its ‘Audi Watch’ campaign and also ran national television. Media spending for the first nine months of 1992 was about $18 million, according to LNA/Arbitron Multi-Media Service, and $25 million in 1991.
‘(Media) plans are being modified on a daily basis, which is bound to happen when a company gets new leadership,’ said an executive close to Audi, referring to Gerd Klauss, vp in charge of Audi of America since this past September.
Garrity said agency DDB Needham Chicago will work on a new campaign after the first quarter, pending an approval of increased spending. Responsibility for the account was shifted from Needham’s Detroit office to Chicago last June.
The move comes on the heels of Audi’s most successful sales effort in years. According to a company statement, 1992 sales were up 20.1 percent, marking the company’s first year-to-year sales increase since 1985.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)