The biggest automakers in the U.S.market spent nearly 23 percent less last year on measured media advertising -- no surprise in a year when auto sales fell 21 percent to the lowest level since 1982, according to a newly published analysis.
Total advertising spending among the top 100 advertisers in the United States fell 10 percent in 2009, Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News, reported today in its “100 Leading National Advertisers” issue.
The drop in advertising reflects the sharp decline in consumer spending last year.
Procter & Gamble Co. topped the list with ad spending of $4.2 billion last year, down 13 percent. It was followed by Verizon and AT&T Corp.
Nine automotive companies made the list, and all except Volkswagen showed a significantly steeper-than-average decline in advertising spending in 2009.
Measured ad spending in the automotive industry is the second-largest advertising category after retail, says Ad Age.
The nine automakers on the list collectively spent $8.58 billion on all advertising last year, down 23 percent from $11.18 billion in 2009.
Even with a brief stint in bankruptcy last year, General Motors Co. retained its No. 4 ranking on the list, despite a 22 percent drop in advertising spending to $2.21 billion last year.
Ford Motor Co., the only one of the Detroit 3 not to go bankrupt last year, fell to 15th place from 13th place a year earlier. It spent $1.52 billion, a decline of about 18 percent.
Toyota Motor Corp. ranked 24th, down from 19th place. It spent $1.29 billion, a drop of 18 percent.
Spending at American Honda Motor Co. declined 25 percent to $935.9 million. Honda fell 10 spots on the list to 36th.
Chrysler Group was 43rd, down from 36th, and spending dropped 27 percent to $824.6 million.
Nissan Motor Co.'s rank and spending tumbled the most among automakers on the Ad Age list. Nissan ranked 54th, down from 31st in 2008, with a 42 percent spending decline to $690.9 million.
Hyundai Motor Co. spent $401.7 million in 2009, a decline of about 22 percent that put it in 84th place, down from 73rd in 2008.
Volkswagen AG rose to 88th place from 90th in 2008. VW's spending fell only about 10 percent to $368 million.
Daimler AG, the last car company on the list, fell to 99th place from 84th. Its spending totaled $338.5 million, down 22 percent from 2008.