US carmaker Chrysler is planning to slash its global advertising spend next year, even if it receives a bail-out loan from the US government. It is the last of the “Detroit Three” to admit it is reducing spend.
Sources at the carmaker, which makes the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep marques, say it plans to shave $100 to $150m (£68m to £101m) off its budget in 2009. Its global budget for 2007-08 was $500m (£338m), although this is down from $675m (£456m) the previous year.
Chrysler USA chief marketing officer Deborah Mayer says: “We’re reviewing every marketing dollar (and pound) globally. At the same time, we can’t just go into a hole and not communicate with our customers.”
In the UK, Chrysler says it will reduce its £7m marketing budget, but it is unable to confirm by how much. The company also plans to switch its marketing from a retail focus to a national communications campaign to highlight the different ranges and boost brand awareness, despite it having no major car launches to promote.
Chrysler UK marketing director Nigel Land says: “We are planning a major national communications push – using TV, radio and press – to help reinforce the quality of our cars and get drivers back into our showrooms.”
Chrysler’s US parent company is in talks with the US congress over a $7bn (£4.7bn) bridging loan to help it survive until the market improves.
Chrysler UK works with Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, which handles its advertising, while The Kitchen and Soup work on its below-the-line campaigns. BJK&E Media handles media planning and buying.