Sports Illustrated remained the most popular magazine for automaker advertising in the first half of 2004.
Car companies spent $75.8 million to advertise in the magazine between January and June, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. That was a 6.2 percent increase over the year-ago period.
Among enthusiast magazines, Car and Driver attracted $39.1 million in auto advertising during the first six months, 4.2 percent more than in the same period of 2003. The buff book ranked third in ad spending among all magazines.
Automotive advertising is growing most quickly - in both revenue and pages - in the category of magazines that includes women's, cooking, shelter, travel and entertainment titles. Car companies increasingly are working with food and travel magazines to sponsor consumer promotions and special events.
People Weekly, the largest magazine in that category, had $35.5 million in automotive ad spending in the first half of this year. That was a 23.9 percent increase from the year-ago period. People ranked No. 5 in spending in all magazines.
Among the top 50 U.S. magazines ranked by automotive advertising dollars, Cosmopolitan had the largest percentage increase in spending. The women's magazine attracted $6.51 million in auto ad spending in the first half of the year. That was a jump of 130.5 percent over the year-ago period.
The biggest loser, in percentage terms, was Travel & Leisure. The$8.7 million that automakers spent to advertise in the magazine in the first half of 2004 was 31.1 percent below the comparable 2003 total.
According to the annual National Directory of Magazines, 389 auto enthusiast magazines are published in the United States. That total reflects a loss of 91 titles since 2000.
Says Deborah Striplin, editorial director of the directory: "Magazines are becoming more focused."