If the first few months of the year are any indication, auto advertising in magazines will not revive, contrary to the hopes of publishers, according to AdAge (via MediaBuyerPlanner). In 2005, loss of auto advertising cost publishers almost $100 million in revenue; magazines had pinned their hopes on a revival in '06 based on second-half launches and their own online offerings, but for now, at least, it doesn't look as though this year will be any better than the last. In January, automaker print ad spending plunged 23 percent, though in February numbers rallied a bit.
Rodale, a publisher that actually saw auto ad pages increase by 6 percent in 2005 saw those pages sink 7.5 percent in January and February compared with the same months last year.
The shift of money from print ads to the web is partly to blame, according to the article. Ford Motor Co.'s print ad budget share dropped last year from 23.5 percent to 21 percent, while its online allocation grew from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, and GM's budget fell to 15.8 percent from 17.1 percent for print and rose from 2.4 percent to 3.5 percent for the web. (Daimler Chrysler, however, cut its web budget share from 2.2 percent to 2 percent.)