During this Sunday's Super Bowl, the Big Three automotive advertisers will be Hyundai, Audi and Toyota, not Ford, GM and Chrysler. In fact, the Detroit Three will be completely absent from the proceedings for the first time since 2001. At a going rate of $2.8 million to $3 million per 30-second spot, we can't say we blame them for sitting this one out. Granted, they'd get roughly 200 million eyeballs for their ads, but with every American citizen watching each and every personal -- and governmental -- expenditure, it would be hard to justify buying the spots.

Although the bailout has created a circus-like atmosphere around the Detroit Three's checkbooks, GM for one, had decided as far back as last September not to advertise during Sunday's game, even though Cadillac is a presenter. Ford thought it unreasonable as well. So what will we see in place of Howie Long and Mike Rowe? How about Jason Statham pitching the new Audi A6, Transporter style. Hyundai will be pushing the North American Car of the Year award-winning Genesis, reminding people of the company's buy-it-back program if they become unemployed. Sounds good, but we wish they wouldn't have banned the Danica ad.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]