Fiat Auto, reeling from its €529 million ($487.16m; £333.61m) first quarter loss reported last week, told analysts Friday it will slash its ad budgets worldwide.

An “immediate action plan” drawn up by new chief executive Giancarlo Boschetti will slice around €170.8 million from its marketing budget in the current year. The automaker’s annual ad budget in 2000, according to AdAge Global, totalled $900m.

Roster agencies with nails gnawed to the quick include Bcom3 Group’s D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Leo Burnett Worldwide – both of which work on the Fiat marque – plus WPP Group's Red Cell (Alfa Romeo) and Italian independent Armando Testa (Lancia).

The massive loss for the first quarter of 2002 compares year-on-year with a net profit of €193m. The first quarter loss alone exceeds that for the whole of 2001 – €445m.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff