Automotive advertising isn’t what it once was – but they are still important accounts when you can land them.
Interpublic, home to agencies like McCann Worldgroup and DraftFCB, has acquired an shop in Sao Paulo, expanding its footprint in Brazil. Lowe Worldwide and McCann Erickson, among other IPG agencies, already have offices in Brazil, which, of course, is considered a hotspot for advertising and media growth.
First came the TNS Media Intelligence numbers, which, though dated, paint an awfully grim picture. First quarter spending fell 14 percent, a big number in its own right, but even more startling when put in context. Take, for instance, the fourth quarter of 2008, when credit had completely dried up and companies were racing to cut marketing, staffing and every other expense. Ad spending then fell just 9 percent. Or how about the fourth quarter of 2001? After the bursting of the dotcom bubble and the attacks of Sept. 11? Spending dropped 11 percent that quarter.
“This is not about going out of business. This is about getting down to business.”
So says the latest advertisement from General Motors, which hit the automaker’s web site and YouTube just hours after it filed for bankruptcy protection.
As the New York Times puts it this morning: “Even after receiving $15.4 billion in federal loans, General Motors is once again on the brink of financial collapse.” The reason is that the automaker burned through $10.2 billion in the firs quarter, while revenue dropped by almost half to $22.4 billion.
Slightly down is the new up.
At least judging from the reception that advertising giant WPP received today after it predicted like-for-like revenue would drop 2 percent this year.
Advertising at the highest end of the luxury market may be the last to get hit in an economic slump, but it’s still going to get scathed before the ad market turns around, Nick Brien, who heads up Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands, a holding company for media buying and planning agencies, told the Reuters Media Summit in New York.
That’s somewhat ironic, because you have to figure Yahoo shareholders are feeling pretty frosty toward Yahoo’s management now that its stock price is wallowing around $13 , near five-year lows, amid a weakening display advertising outlook.