Automotive companies and their related businesses continue to lead the way as the top advertisers on national cable TV stations. Automotive companies spent $754.7 million on cable last year, up 23 percent from 1998.
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. accounted for nearly half the spending in the automotive category. GM was cable's top automotive customer, spending $243.3 million during 1999, compared with $167.7 million the year before. Ford's spending on national cable channels was up 60.7 percent to $94.3 million. Only Procter & Gamble and MCI Worldcom outspent GM on cable last year; Ford was the No. 10 spender on cable.
DaimlerChrysler wasn't as generous to cable TV. That company's spending was down 10.9 percent to $76.9 million. DaimlerChrysler was cable's 16th biggest customer last year.