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Department of the Obvious?

Automaker online advertising plummets in January 2009.

by on Apr.06, 2009

All catagories of auto advertsing are declining. At least one of these people still has his day job.

Auto advertising continues declining in almost all categories. At least one of these people still has his day job.

Online automotive advertising dropped in January 2009 by 43% compared with the year earlier period. The latest backward-looking confirmation of the ongoing Great Recession came from data by “comScore Ad Metrix” service, which measures digital advertising.

Automotive advertisers delivered nearly 2 billion ad impressions and reached 120 million people, or 65% of the total U.S. Internet audience, in January 2009.  The annual selling rate that month and indeed through the first quarter was only 9 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted basis. The number of online ad impressions represents a decline of 43% in for the auto industry versus January 2008.

The study revealed that Ford Motor Company was the top auto advertiser in January with 481 million display ad impressions, followed by Toyota with 384 million and General Motors with 316 million. The top ten auto manufacturers accounted for 58 % of the 1.9 billion ad impressions in the segment, with the “Big Three” U.S. automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler) accounting for 26%.

As part of the study, comScore identified the most advertised SUV and Fuel Efficient/Hybrid vehicles using its new Ad Metrix product dictionary, which allows an identification of online advertisements by product. The internet analysis company found it interesting that auto companies delivered nearly six times more display ads for SUVs (65.0 million) than Fuel-Efficient/Hybrid models (9.9 million) in January 2009.

The answer as to why green vehicles lag bigger ones in promotion seems as obvious to me as the day’s supply of inventory and idled production capacity at makers. Slumping SUV sales, once upon a time virtually the only source of profits at domestic automakers and a major source of profits for offshore makers, caught them by surprise. Marketers need to promote and sell what they or their dealers have sitting on lots or what they can make — not what they wished they had or wished they produced. (more…)