GM hits the brakes on Oscar, Emmy ads

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General Motors said Monday that it has dropped the curtain on advertising during the Academy Awards and the Emmys as part of the company's efforts to slash its ad spending and marketing costs.

The decision to pull out of the Oscars in February is "not just about cost-cutting but also about best return on investment and spending on properties that work best for our objectives," GM rep Kelly Cusinato said.

"The Emmys and Oscars (both on ABC) are prestigious events, and the decision to release them was a difficult one, especially after over a decade of involvement," Cusinato said. "Timing is always an important consideration for events such as these that concentrate many commercials into one evening. When timing aligns with a major vehicle launch for one of our brands, they fit more naturally into the marketing plans. That isn't the case as we head into the next broadcast season."

GM spent $13.5 million on media for the 2008 Oscars on ABC and a total of more than $110 million during the past 11 years.

In July, GM said it would cut and consolidate its marketing and sales budget and reconsider its investments in motor sports activity. Instead, the focus would be on product launches and brand ads.

Cusinato said GM will continue to spend on TV and remain involved with the Golden Globes, Grammys and Country Music Awards in 2009.

Steve Miller is a senior reporter for Brandweek.
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