General Motors is shifting money it had planned to spend on national magazines this year to its revived local dealer advertising groups.
GM will maintain its overall advertising spending level for 2001, said company spokesman Terry Sullivan.
Negotiations between the automaker and Conde Nast Publications regarding this year's advertising schedule reached a stalemate more than a week ago, to the point that Conde Nast publishers said GM is 'on hiatus.'
'We need to move monies around to do a better job locally,' Sullivan said. 'Magazines really can't be tailored as easily to maximize local marketing efforts.'
No more Glamour
Sullivan declined to say how much money will be shifted to the dealer groups. GM in late January decided to revive local dealer advertising groups, after abandoning the system two years ago.
The automaker spent $424 million on magazine buys in the first 11 months of 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting. It spent $28 million last year with Conde Nast. GM will disappear from that publisher's monthly magazines beginning with May issues, including Bon Appetit, Glamour and The New Yorker, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication to Automotive News.
Maurie Perl, senior vice president of corporate communications for Conde Nast, declined to comment.
Asked whether GM will renegotiate with other publishing companies, including Hearst Magazines, Time Inc. and Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Sullivan said, 'We are constantly looking at what we need to do, where the mix is, and how we can make some moves.'
Accounts differ over the status of Conde Nast negotiations. Some internal talk suggests the two companies will take a timeout before resuming talks May 1. But others fear it may drag on longer.
Clashing over rates
Conde Nast executives suggested the standoff stems from a collision between GM's aggressive stance and the publisher's traditional refusal to negotiate rates. If so, it wouldn't be the first time the two companies had clashed over the issue.
From 1986 until 1994, Conde Nast titles were kept off GM's list every year due to the publisher's policy. But in 1994, Florio made peace with GM, and the automaker agreed to spend about $20 million with Conde Nast.
GM spent $484.7 million on magazines in 1999, and $442.7 million in 1998, according to Competitve Media Reporting.
Advertising Age contributed to this report.