DETROIT - Ford Division will spend an estimated $550 million, a record amount, on advertising in 2005.
Ford Division President Steve Lyons said that media spending will increase by about 15 percent in 2005.
That would take the advertising budget well past its previous high of an estimated $480 million in 2004. Automotive News made that estimate based on information from Ford sources.
The additional ad spend will support the launch of the 2006 Fusion, a new mid-sized sedan.
Spending also will be heavy for new 2005 vehicles such as the Five Hundred, Freestyle and the redesigned Mustang.
"It's important when you have all this product to tell people about it," Lyons said at the Detroit auto show.
One of Ford Division's first big ad splashes of the year comes at the Feb. 6 Super Bowl. Lyons said Ford will debut a commercial "having fun with the Mustang" just before kickoff.
But the division's additional budget also will support nontraditional marketing, such as Internet ads.
"Advertising is a different world today," Lyons said. "If you're adding $50 to $100 million, it's not necessarily all the traditional, just-go-buy-more-TV-time or more print."