Ford Division is negotiating with magazines that appeal to women for advertising space starting in the fourth quarter.
Women buy about 65 percent of all cars, said Ross Roberts, the division's general manager. The division is talking to more than 20 magazines about ad buys for 1998 model year vehicles.
Roberts said early this year that reaching more women was one of his division's four goals in calender 1997. Last month, he told Advertising Age, a sister publication to Automotive News, that the division retargeted its media buys since the start of 1997 to favor women.
Before the switch, 60 percent of the ads were aimed at men. Now, 60 percent are aimed at women.
The division, which spent $877 million in 1996 in all measured media, will increase its exposure in women's magazines starting in the fourth quarter, said advertising manager Gerry Donnelly.
'Conde Nast has a lot of women's books, and we'll probably increase our exposure with Conde Nast,' he said.
Conde Nast Publications' women's titles are also getting good news from Volvo Cars of North America Inc. The importer of Swedish cars has targeted women in six of the 25 magazines it is considering this fall for ad space, including Conde Nast Sports for Women and Vanity Fair. The move marks Volvo's return to magazines after a hiatus of several years.
The magazines will help Volvo reach sport-utility intenders for launches of three versions of the V70 all-wheel-drive station wagon, said Fred Hammond, Volvo corporate communications director.
Volvo is 'coming back in a big way in the fall, with a multititle, high double-digit (ad-page) schedule,' said Catherine Viscardi Johnston, Conde Nast's senior vice president for group sales and marketing.
'The last three years have been lively and productive with all three of the big (U.S.) automakers,' she added. 'We've seen pages grow dramatically.
'General Motors was the first to recognize the women's market, and began aligning with the fashion market and with issues that were important to women. But since then, Ford and Chrysler have been coming at it in their own significant way.'
Ford ran 190 pages with Conde Nast titles in 1996, a 50 percent increase in three years, she said. 'In '97 and '98, we are expecting to see that grow another 10 percent if not more.'