General Motors will not be advertising in the next Super Bowl, which will run on CBS in 2013.
Traditionally, the big automaker has been the third-largest TV spender in the most-viewed TV show every year -- with only Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo spending more. Analysts say the move was unexpected.
TV buyers say CBS is well sold in the event for this time of year, with the price tag for the big NFL championship game around $3.8 million for a 30-second spot.
“This creates a huge -- an unfillable hole,” cautions one TV media executive. One media buyer reckons that GM typically buys around five to eight commercials in the Super Bowl per year. In 2012, GM spent $21 million for its overall Super Bowl investment.
This move out of the Super Bowl has been a more common occurrence for GM in recent years. It did not buy the 2009 and 2010 Super Bowls. which came in the midst of a recession. Chrysler Corp., another usual Super Bowl buyer, also missed the 2009 game.
A CBS spokesperson had no comment.
The good news is that starting about a month ago, CBS moved quickly in selling out most of the inventory in the game. It now has around eight months to make up ground.
The move comes just days after the news that GM pulled back on $10 million in annual buys on social media platform Facebook.
Analysts say the Super Bowl news surprised a number of executives, considering that GM’s Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick has been a big supporter. Another report says GM is looking to save more than $2 billion in media and marketing costs over the next five years.