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Here's a sign that things are possibly turning around in the automotive industry – Advertising Age is reporting that the total number of ad pages bought by automotive advertisers went up over the past year. First quarter numbers for American magazines went up compared with the first quarter of 2009, according to a report by the Publishers Information Bureau. This represents the first time that both of those numbers has gone up since 2007.

Although auto industry money is a bit tight at the moment, in order to sell vehicles, automakers have to buy advertising. Lots of advertising, in big, expensive campaigns with high production values and creative that's at the vanguard of style. Advertising agencies that can handle the needs of giant clientele with international brands are still happy to welcome automotive accounts through the doors.

Conventionally, automotive marketers have believed most car shoppers take at least six months to make up their minds on what to buy. That half-a-year of shopping is what marketers call the "sales funnel." It works like this: First the need for a new car is recognized then six-months later, someone's driving away in a new car. In between, shoppers do all their research, line up financing, etc.

Whoever ends up with Chrysler will obviously face a myriad of logistical problems from suppliers to unions. But Advertising Age takes a look at the marketing muddle that will need to be overcome soon after signing the deed.