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.


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  • 29 Comments
      Oolly
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hate car ads. Dealer ads are the worst. I've never bought, or even done a web search on, a car because of an ad. I don't believe anything they say, so the content make no difference in my decisions. I generally know about new cars in detail long before they go for sale, and have a very good idea if a car is worth looking at before any ads ever get out. The GM ads in car mags that take up several pages and look like articles are particularly annoying. I rip them out so anyone else looking at the mag after me doesn't have to suffer.
      Terry Actill
      • 9 Months Ago
      What's the deal with the comments? The glitch needs fixing asap.
      churchmotor
      • 9 Months Ago
      Hey, it doesn't cost them anything. Obama is giving them billions just to keep the lights on.
        rlog100
        • 9 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Keep repeating that myth, makes you look even more foolish.
        Terry Actill
        • 9 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        I suppose you don't buy any food then? All farmers receive massive federal subsidies just to keep going.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yes, the Caddy ATS drive the car too fast in foreign locations with the whooping passenger were certainly saturated. No commercials for the catches on fire in the showroom XTS though. GM could save a lot of ad dollars by not having the truck triplets. Have they not learned that badge engineering essentially doesn't work?
        AwolG5
        • 9 Months Ago
        @bootsnchaps60
        Tell the badge engineering to VW, Honda, Toyota, Nissan etc. Also the GM trucks are fantastic, granted in my eyes all trucks are the same and the only difference is the buyers brand loyalty, and generate a lot of sales. People who buy a silverado typically do so because they don't want a sierra. Its pure profit for GM.
          Sir Duke
          • 9 Months Ago
          @AwolG5
          "People who buy a silverado typically do so because they don't want a sierra." Actually, its the reverse. The Silverado (Chevrolet) is the volume brand, the Sierra (GMC) is the I want more than a plain old Chevy brand.
      Eta Carinae
      • 9 Months Ago
      You people find absolutely Any reason to hate GM.....its just too funny now a days.....you can build the best product in the world but without the right marketing or publicity nobody will ever know about it.....you think apple makes so much money for how stellar their products are ? No.....the money is made through marketing....
      Tariff The Imports
      • 9 Months Ago
      " take the title of US second largest advertiser " Never heard anything ever getting a title for second... Still an awful company. GM is pathetic.
      Bill Burke
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's marketing that sells cars.
        Terry Actill
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        "The key word here is 'perception,' as influenced by word-of-mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience," CR Deputy Editor Jeff Bartlett says. In the end, most people make actual buying choices based, not on techno-whiz or glitz and hype, but on "wallet issues," Bartlett says, such as value and fuel economy. I'd agree. Marketing alone doesn't get bodies into dealerships.
        Terry Actill
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        "The key word here is 'perception,' as influenced by word-of-mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience," CR Deputy Editor Jeff Bartlett says. In the end, most people make actual buying choices based, not on techno-whiz or glitz and hype, but on "wallet issues," Bartlett says, such as value and fuel economy. I'd agree. Marketing alone doesn't get bodies into dealerships.
      Quest
      • 9 Months Ago
      Good News: GM is finally spending on advertising. Bad News: it's mostly forgettable, pretentious or just plain bad. Marketing and salient advertising is still lost on the General.
      Quest
      • 9 Months Ago
      Good News: GM is finally spending on advertising. Bad News: it's mostly forgettable, pretentious, patronizing or just plain bad. Marketing and salient advertising is still lost on the General. Spend money on the product and word-of-mouth would sell more vehicles.
      Britt Benston
      • 9 Months Ago
      Advertising: does anyone want it? Sure, it's a necessary evil in some cases. Bottom line is, GM's putting that much money into something most people find annoying.
      PiCASSO
      • 9 Months Ago
      That CTS looks HOT...
      Karfreek
      • 9 Months Ago
      A good product sells itself...
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