Automaker says decision due to cut-backs

General Motors will sit out next years Oscarcast.

The automaker has been a stalwart sponsor of showbiz’s glitziest night, but plunging sales, recession fears and spiking gasoline prices have pushed the company to cut back its spending on marketing and advertising. GM spent more than $13 million in spots on this year’s kudocast. In reporting GM’s decision not to book its customary spots, the Wall Street Journal noted that GM was opting to divert more of its ad coin to paid search placements on the web and other more targeted and measurable forms of advertising.

GM’s retrenchment in TV is a major headache for local and national TV outlets, as the automaker has traditionally been among the top-spending spot buyers.

But ABC is unlikely to have much trouble finding takers for GM’s real estate on the Feb. 22 telecast. Despite its dwindling audience share, the Oscars remains one of the top TV events of the year and a magnet for blue-chip brands.

ABC declined comment on GM’s decision.

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