US Auto Firms Resume Ad Campaigns

02 April 2003

America’s auto firms are preparing to resume advertising, with new campaigns worth $350 million (€321m; £222m) ready to run.

Like many marketers, auto firms scaled back their ad activity at the onset of war, in some cases abandoning it altogether. But according to a poll of twelve manufacturers by, they will all now go ahead with their campaigns as planned.

As conflict broke out, auto makers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Nissan withdrew all advertising for a week. Toyota pulled ads from television news programmes, while Ford Motor Company stuck with entertainment shows but avoided war coverage on the news and in magazines.

As well as the resumption of ongoing campaigns, there will be ads to support nine new vehicle models due for launch by the end of April. These include lines from Lexus (backed by $65m), Mitsubishi Motors ($60m), Kia Motors ($40m) and General Motors ($30m). Ford will continue a $60m effort begun in February, while Nissan is preparing a major ad push for its new Maxima sedan.

There are some conditions, however. Lexus, General Motors and Chrysler Group have requested that their ads are not placed near war reports during news programmes or in newspapers and magazines.

All twelve of the interviewed manufacturers revealed they would keep an eye on events and withdraw advertising again if necessary.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff