Adspend by the auto sector – the largest source of ad revenue – fell 4.4% across Europe’s five biggest markets to E6.01 billion last year, according to a new study published in industry magazine Automotive News Europe.

The research, by ACNielsen unit Adex International, found falling adspend in Germany, France, Spain and the UK. The downturn was particularly acute in Germany – the continent’s largest market – where ad expenditure fell over 16% to E1.17bn; also in the UK, which saw a 10.2% drop to E990.7 million. The only country in the study to register a rise was Italy, where Fiat launched several new products.

Europe’s biggest auto advertiser, France’s Renault, cut spend by 5% in the five nations to E691.8m. In Germany, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat and Renault each slashed ad budgets by two-figure margins, while Opel – General Motors’ German unit – reduced advertising expenditure by nearly one-third to E151.2m.

The cuts reflect declining vehicle sales and mirror similar findings in the US, where GM, DaimlerChrysler and Ford have all reduced adspend in the first quarter.

News source: Financial Times