The first quarter of 2001 saw General Motors retain its lead as the nation’s leading automobile advertiser with an across-the-board outlay of $479.6 million – albeit 25.8% less than the same quarter last year.

But, reports New York-based CMR (a unit of Taylor Nelson Sofres), DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler brand outspent all other individual car marques, upping its adspend by 99% to $40.4m. Tailgating at $40.2m was another Chrysler brand, the Dodge Caravan minivan, up year-on-year by 17.2%.

CMR also revealed Citigroup as the largest advertiser in the financial services sector, spending 162% more than in Q1 2000 with $29.9m. The biggest spending brand was Morgan Stanley’s Discover credit card, up 13.7% to $34.9m.

In pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline led the way with a marginally decreased corporate spend of $199.3m – less than one percent below Q1 last year. Lagging in second place was Johnson & Johnson with $114.3m, an increase of under 1%. Ahead of all other individual pharma brands was Merck & Company’s anti-asthma drug Singulair, up 25.6% to $31.9m from $25.4 million.

News source: New York Times