Some automakers are slashing their spending on magazine advertising by as much as 40 percent in the first half of 2005, publishers say.
Car companies are U.S. magazines' largest advertisers. But the Big 3 often are delaying ad buys until the last minute, according to magazine industry executives.
Rob Gregory, group publisher of Maxim, cites "widespread pain for magazines in Detroit." He adds that his own magazine seems to have been spared.
Automakers' ad representatives are "not just asking what day does this issue close, they're asking what time that day does it close," Gregory says.
The Publishers Information Bureau reports the Chrysler group cut its magazine ad buys to 258 pages in the first three months of 2005, compared with 421 pages in the year-ago quarter. General Motors reduced its magazine advertising to 656 pages in this year's first quarter, down from 827 pages in the same period of 2004.
By contrast, Ford Motor Co. bought 874 pages of magazine ads in the first quarter, compared with 490 in the first three months of last year, the bureau says.
Magazine ad buys in the overall automotive category, which includes Asian and European automakers, fell 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 2004 to the same period this year. In March, the bureau says, the year-over-year decline was 19 percent.