Chrysler to boost advertising spending

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DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group will dramatically increase spending on advertising in the fourth quarter as it rolls out new cars and trucks, the company's top U.S. executive said.

Chrysler Group president and CEO Tom LaSorda said some of the spending has already started.

"Our advertising in certain months is more than double the first half of the year, so you'll see us spend a lot more money, and that was the plan all along," he said Monday when questioned by reporters.

The advertising will go beyond new products to a continuation of Chrysler's brand name reinforcement and to tout its American and German engineering and design, LaSorda said.

Chrysler spokeswoman Carrie McElwee said the company saved much of its advertising budget for late in the year to coincide with unveiling the new vehicles. She would not reveal the total amount the company would spend on advertising this year.

The company spent about $500 million on advertising in the first half of the year.

The company already has started advertising the new Chrysler Aspen sport utility vehicle, as well as the new Jeep Wrangler, McElwee said. Advertising for the new Chrysler Sebring mid-sized sedan and the Dodge Nitro SUV will begin soon. The models are among 10 new cars and trucks the company plans to roll out this year.

Chrysler also plans to revive its "Ask Dr. Z" television and radio campaign featuring DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche at a yet-to-be-determined date. The broadcast campaign is still being evaluated, and the company soon will unveil a new Internet component, McElwee said.

Chrysler pulled the "Ask Dr. Z" ads at the end of August to focus on promoting incentives to move 2006 models.
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