2014 Cadillac CTS

General Motors might be mired in several recalls, as well as the ongoing investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress into the automaker's response to those recalls. However, the company can celebrate taking the title of the US' second-largest advertiser in 2013. According to Ad Week examining a recently released study, total advertising spending in the US posted its fourth consecutive year of rising expenditures with 0.9-percent growth to $140.2 billion. Of that, the auto industry spent $15.2 billion to promote its goods in 2013, up 3.8 percent.

The country's biggest advertiser was Procter and Gamble, which dropped $3.17 billion in 2013, an increase of 11.8 percent. GM became the nation's second largest promoter with $1.794 billion in spending, up 10 percent. The biggest proportion of that money went to sell Cadillac and GMC. AT&T barely lost out with $1.793 billion in advertising, 15.2 percent growth. The 10 businesses with the highest ad investments spent a cumulative $15.9 billion during the year, 6.6 percent higher than 2012. Toyota came in eighth place making it the only other automaker to rank in the top 10.

The study also indicates that there is a shift in advertising spending from television and print to the Internet. There was 15.7 percent more money outlaid to promote products online in 2013 than the previous year. In comparison, television dropped 0.1 percent, newspapers were down 3.7 percent and radio fell 5.6 percent.

With GM facing so much public scrutiny, it will be interesting to see if it can maintain its position. It might be the perfect opportunity for Toyota to increase advertising while one of its main competitors is weakened.