SBD/Issue 41/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

FedEx, Other Marketers Unsure On Super Bowl Ads Amid Economy

With ads during Super Bowl XLIII commanding as much as $3M for a 30-second spot, some marketers are "wondering whether during these tough economic times they can afford the big game," according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. FedEx, which has advertised in 12 previous Super Bowls, still "hasn't decided if it will buy in." A FedEx source said that the company is "concerned that shelling out big bucks -- at a time when it's 'asking employees to do more with less' -- will look 'wrong.'" The source: "Companies have to be mindful that jumping into the game can open them up to criticism." Meanwhile, other advertisers are "taking a pass" on the game altogether, including GM, which has advertised in 16 Super Bowls, and Garmin, which aired spots in the last two games. NBC had sold "most of its Super Bowl ad inventory by early September, prior to the meltdown on Wall Street," but the net "seems to have experienced some slowing of demand over the past few weeks." NBC said that it now has "about eight ad slots left to fill," which Vranica notes is "roughly the same number that were left in September" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/11).

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