Auto Ads May Be Revving Up

By: Lucia Moses

While classified recruitment and some national-advertising categories experienced the biggest drop-offs industrywide in March, other segments and categories held relatively steady.

Retailers are “recognizing, in the battle for market share and the tough retail climate, the need to drive consumers,” said S. Scott Harding, chairman and CEO of Newspaper Services of America, the newspaper space broker in Downers Grove, Ill. “I think that this is just the reality of a very tough business environment, and the need to drive business.”

Automotive advertising started the year with a roar, then faded down the backstretch of the first quarter when the war started. But it could rally again, according to Douglas H. McCorkindale, chairman, CEO, and president of Gannett Co. Inc. “The manufacturers are telling us they have a lot of new products coming out — I think 25 or 26 new models,” he told analysts last week, “so that should be a positive sign for the upcoming months.”

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