Automakers to challenge networks on upfront

Automakers to challenge networks on upfront.
AdAge is reporting that major automobile makers plan to confront the networks over diminishing audiences and rising ad prices next month.

Several major car marketers are vowing to move ad dollars elsewhere if national broadcast networks seek double-digit rate hikes in the upcoming upfront ad-selling period. Some say they plan to decrease upfront spending no matter what happens as they strive for a more targeted reach.

…Ford Motor Co.’s Richard Stoddart, marketing communications manager of the Ford division, says the automaker “has several scenarios for allocations” depending on what happens with rates sought in this spring’s upfront. However, no matter what the rates are, Mr. Stoddart already plans to increase his Internet and direct-mail spending as he prepares for several crucial launches this fall.

TV is still the biggest bang for the ad dollar, but the Internet and cable do just fine and at a much more reasonable cost. Automotive is the nation’s biggest ad category, so we’ll be watching this closely.

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