Car makers claw back spend for peak month

Car manufacturers are pulling TV money from July, the biggest month in their marketing year. Agencies expect spend to drop by at least ten per cent to 3m compared with July 1994.

Ford and Vauxhall are leading the move, although most main brands are scaling back their spend. Ford is shifting the bulk of spend be-hind the autumn launch of the Galaxy, while Vauxhall is expected to relaunch the Astra at the same time.

Motoring is the second-largest product category on TV, spending 200m last year. The category got off to a flying start this year, totting up 64m in the first three months, up a quarter on the same period last year. But growth slowed in June and agencies are now scaling down estimates of at least 230m for the year as a whole.

“The summer has been a disappointment,” says Optimedia deputy managing di-rector Richard Webb. “Some are holding spend back, but impacts are also so disappointing and the ITV contractors, who often can’t do July deals, have imposed tough sanctions on advertisers.”

“Advertisers have either been chasing cheaper months, like January and February, or are holding back for new product launches,” says CDP Media Company TV buying director Tony Whyberd.

A July crowded with car ads combined with sales houses not delivering deals until August were thought to have muted the effect of last year’s campaigns.

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