Will Lower TV Budgets At General Motors Buzz The Marketplace --And Other Advertisers?

President Obama showed off his quick hands during a recent television interview where he swatted and disabled a fly. (Alright, killed it.)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) isn't happy, isn't happy, and would rather the President use something called a "Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher" -- a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside.

There's an easier way, which would have made for better TV drama.

Bring one's hand sweeping straight toward the front of the fly at rest. Then, at the last second, raise the hand as if going over the head of the fly. And catch it as it takes off. (A fly will almost always look to fly over an obstacle.)

Then you can release it outside. (Or, as an extra incentive, you could try to rehabilitate it.)

Perhaps this is how some advertisers might treat this unstable TV marketplace. TV networks and advertisers will tell you times are tough. No one knows where the bottom is, or whether there will be a gentle landing.



Eyes have turned to General Motors, typically the second-largest U.S. advertiser, in wondering if the big automaker is a harbinger of what other TV advertisers might do.

Advertising Age says the big automotive maker is really only looking to spend some $40 million to $50 million a month in overall advertising for the coming months. Annually, this would come to $480 million to $600 million -- all of which would be a massive 80% cut in overall U.S. advertising, recently pegged at over $3 billion.

With television accounting for roughly half of that $3.0 billion -- about $1.5 billion -- it doesn't take a genius to imagine TV networks executives frantically doing quick calculations, wondering if this translates into an 80% cut in their budgets.

Television has fared much better than other media during this downturn. Will that continue during the upfront? Will General Motors catch the falling marketplace gently, or give it a swat?

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