Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Losing Your Media Job? Blame the Car Companies and Their Shrinking Ad Budgets

Looking for a place to focus your frustration after getting pink-slipped from your media job? Try blaming the American consumer for not buying more cars in the last year. And car companies for spending less to convince them.

Car companies cut their ad spending by 10 percent, to $6.1 billion, through the first half of the year, according to Nielsen’s ad tracking service. That confirms anecdotal evidence media companies have been offering up throughout the year, and it means that the numbers for the second half of the year–when the economy really collapsed–are going to be brutal.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why everyone–from Time Warner’s Time Inc. (TWX) to GE’s (GE) NBC to every Web start-up you can think of–is looking at dwindling ad revenue for the foreseeable future.

And yes, you can point your finger most accusingly at Detroit, if that makes you feel better: While some imports, like Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC), actually kept spending steady or increased it, the formerly Big 3 all made big cuts. General Motors (GM), the country’s biggest auto ad buyer, dropped spending six percent; Ford (F) and Chrysler dropped 22 percent each.

MediaPost has the full gory details.

[Image Credit: Hauke Sandhaus]


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”