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By Published on .

General Motors Corp. edged out Procter & Gamble Co. in measured media spending for 1997, hanging on to the No. 1 spending title for another year.

The automaker spent a total of $2.2 billion in measured media, compared with $1.7 billion by P&G, according to Competitive Media Reporting figures released today.

Trailing GM and P&G were Philip Morris Cos. at $1.319 billion, Chrysler Corp. at $1.312 billion and Ford Motor Co. at $973 million.

CMR media totals do not include so-called unmeasured forms of advertising, such as direct response, sales promotion, Yellow Pages, event marketing, business press ads and even local TV. These unmeasured forms may run as high as half a marketer's total advertising expenditure.

GM UP 23%

GM spending -- including $588 million in magazines and $1.5 billion in TV (network, spot, syndicated and cable) -- grew 23% from '96 levels of $1.74 billion. The company earlier this month announced plans to cut magazine spending in 1998 in favor of TV, a result tied to GM's 3-year-old brand management system and a move that sent shock waves through the publishing industry.

GM began increasing its ad budget in 1995 when it introduced brand management, a trend that continued through '97 "because of our number of brands," said a GM spokeswoman.

GM's spending in measured media this year may decline because "the focus in 1998 is on the mix of media and how to be more effective with the right promotional opportunities," she said. "GM is driving to be more efficient in 1998 in all aspects of its business."

In advertising, the manifestation of that has been the formation of GM's Agency Production Council to study ways to cut costs and improve effectiveness.

P&G spending -- including $368 million in magazines and $1.3 billion in TV (network, spot, syndicated and cable) -- grew 12% over '96 totals.


Another big spender, AT&T Corp., slashed media spending from $660 million in 1996 to $476 million in 1997, a 28% decrease.

CMR also reported that McDonald's Corp., with $578 million in measured spending -- the bulk in TV and magazines -- led all brands. (A brand in CMR parlance is an individual product or service specific to a single business classification.) Burger King Corp. came in second with $423 million, with the majority of its spending in TV.

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