GM Returns Ads to ‘L.A. Times’

LOS ANGELES Nearly four months after pulling its ads in an editorial coverage dispute, General Motors Corp. has resumed its corporate advertising in the Los Angeles Times, a representative for the Tribune Co.-owned newspaper confirmed.

“We had productive conversations with GM,” the rep said. “We listened to their concerns.”

According to a GM representative, the decision to resume a relationship with the newspaper was made by the Detroit-based automaker’s Western regional manager, Michael Jackson. On Monday, GM ran its first corporately placed L.A. Times ad since April, a full-page effort touting its 2006 Pontiac Solstice Roadster.

Citing repeated “factual errors and misrepresentations” in the newspaper’s editorial and “strongly voiced objections from our dealers in California,” GM indefinitely cut off its corporate ad campaign on the afternoon of April 7 and encouraged its regional dealers to withdraw advertising as well.

Including dealers, GM spent about $10.8 million on L.A. Times advertising from January through March 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence. Based on TNS figures, research firm Prudential Equity Research estimated that GM was the paper’s “No. 1 or No. 2 advertiser” and that the boycott would definitely hurt “the already challenged” newspaper.

GM’s reconnection with the Los Angeles Times comes at the same time as the company seeks to continue its current promotion-based sales surge. The automaker has extended through Sept. 6 a sales program—originally scheduled to end Monday—that offers customers employee discount prices.