In Europe's major markets last year, most automakers cut their spending on traditional media advertising or kept it roughly the same.
But Volkswagen AG boosted its 2005 ad spending by 19.0 percent, to about $388 million, in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain, according to Nielsen Media Research UK.
VW had a series of major new-model launches in 2005. It was Europe's biggest automotive advertiser last year.
Renault SA, the No. 2 ad buyer in Europe, cut spending on media advertising last year by 6.5 percent, to about $344 million. Ford Motor Co., Europe's third-biggest automotive ad buyer last year, reduced its spending by 12.0 percent, to about $319 million, Nielsen reports.
"In 2005, VW just had more to say for itself," Ludger Wibbelt, managing director of Nielsen's office in Hamburg, Germany, told Automotive News Europe.
VW's new-model launches in Europe last year included the Golf Plus, Fox, Jetta and Passat. The automaker tied a promotional campaign for the Touareg to last year's remake of the movie King Kong.
VW also organized a marketing campaign to celebrate the 100 millionth Volkswagen to leave the assembly line at its Wolfsburg, Germany, factory.