Ford will spread money around its car divisions and spend it on programming running in March and April, the executives said. Others said the money could help pay for a major corporate branding effort.
The move will bring Ford back to normal TV spending levels. During last May's TV upfronts-when major advertisers spend about 70% of their annual TV budgets on the coming season-Ford purchased 30% less TV time on TV networks than it did the year before.
Jan Klug, Ford's VP-global marketing, could not be reached for comment at press time.
Ford's money is good news for the national TV scatter market, where advertisers make short-term TV buys. The market has tightened, partly because some networks, notably News Corp.'s Fox and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, have had to use inventory to run make-good ads after not hitting ratings guarantees. Still, overall program pricing has been weak.