A staple of the weekend newspaper appears to be going away very slowly, as automakers hedge more of their bets on Internet marketing.
A new study shows U.S. new car dealers are expected to pull away even more from print ads in 2015, according to Automotive News, with Virginia-based firm Borrell Associates projecting a 27 percent drop in spending from 2014’s $2.94 billion. It’s another hard blow dealt to the already stunted newspaper industry in America.
Dealers are expected to slow spending on TV, telemarketing and direct mail by 11, 7 and 5 percent, respectively, in 2015, according to the study.
But online advertising is expected to grow, in part because automakers are telling their dealers to spend their money there. Ford, for example, now requires dealers to spend a quarter of their ad budget on online marketing if they want to receive funding support from the company.
And it makes sense, because it’s hard to imagine what car shopping would be like without the Internet and being able to search far and wide for the car you want, rather than being relegated to what the local dealer had to offer.
Still, as someone who as a kid pulled apart the newspaper, looking first for the pictures of cars, this is a bit of nostalgia that’s slowly fading. And as more newspapers drop any sort of autos section, it’s kind of sad to imagine not seeing a full-page ad featuring a $99 lease special on a new Honda Civic.
By Zac Estrada
Photos: Wikimedia Commons & Toyota