GM and Chrysler spent a combined $4.75 billion on marketing last year which funded thousands of jobs, from the CEOs of ad agencies to the guys pasting up billboards on the Interstate. So how would a merger of the two companies affect the advertising industry?

Advertising Age asked several players in the biz what they thought of the idea of Chrysler and GM hooking up and most few positive things to say. The consensus was that GM already has too many brands to promote, adding three more wouldn't benefit anyone. The execs said they would expect GM to at least sell off Chrysler, if not Dodge, too, which would trim GM's ad budget, but also cut the number of marketing firms needed.

At first it would seem Chrysler's agency, Omnicom Group's BBDO, would be an instant loser. But auto consultant Gordon Wangers gives the firm some chance of being kept on. Wangers said GM might just see potential in BBDO's experience and creativity, and throw even more business its way.

The magazine also speculates that GM's veteran VP of sales, Mark LaNeve, would have a better chance of keeping his job in a merger instead of Chrysler's VP-chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl Meyer.

Don't think this concerns you? Think again. Consider where your local newspaper or favorite magazine gets most of its funding. Still not concerned? TV shows, televised sporting events, motorsports, and, uh, blogs, are all ad based, with automotive ads being a big source of income. Fewer brands means fewer ads.

[Source: Advertising Age]