Ford UK slashes spend as part of $9bn thrift drive

Ford UK is expected to slash advertising spend, as its ailing US parent company seeks to make $9bn (£6bn) cost-savings over the next year.

The car company says it is looking to shave costs where possible, with advertising being reviewed on a global basis.

A Ford UK spokesman says: “There is significant pressure on the business at the moment and it is possible we will look at advertising to relieve this.”

Sources close to the manufacturer say that they are anticipating lower spend by Ford, due to a reduction in product launches.  The next launch, the new Ka, is not due until January and one industry insider claims that, as a result, ad spend has been cut completely for the rest of 2008.

Ford has already cut advertising spend by $250m (£167m) in the past financial year. Its global budget for 2007/8 was $550m (£367m) compared with $800m (£534m) the year before.

Senior sources estimate the budget for this year could fall by a further $100m to $150m (£101m) over 2009.

A Ford USA spokeswoman says: “Marketing cuts are planned globally in order to achieve greater global efficiencies, but we cannot go into specifics at this time.”

Ford UK is banking its hopes on the launch of its new Ka range. The car is heavily promoted in the latest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, and its launch will be timed to coincide with the release of the movie on DVD in January 2009. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that Ford’s chief executive, Alan Mulally, confirmed cuts in advertising spend as part of an effort to save $9bn (£6bn).

The move comes as the Detroit car-maker waits for the US Senate to pass a bill offering government aid to help stabilise the finances of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

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