The Wall Street Journal has been making some bold statements in its recent coverage. A couple of weeks ago, The WSJ’s Emily Steel pronounced Yellow Pages “extinct.” This week, a new article by Steel noted the “tapering off” of ad spending on auto sites — another bold statement (although the article itself was measured and balanced).
“We’ve actually been seeing that business has been fairly steady, despite the recession — something that is doubly amazing when you consider the current state of the auto industry,” came the reply from corporate. “AutoTrader.com’s revenues are up year-over-year comparing 2007 to 2008, and we’re expecting a solid 2009.
“While there are predictions for the online advertising market as a whole to show some softness in 2009, that universe includes social networking sites and general search portals. Because automotive media sites such as AutoTrader.com, Edmunds.com and Cars.com cater specifically to in-market car shoppers, we expect that there will be continued growth in spending for advertising and marketing through these sites — something that will be happening at the expense of traditional media.
“Automakers and dealers continue to hurt under the weakened demand for automobiles, but they still need to market to potential customers, and will be scrutinizing every dollar more carefully to make sure they are spending their advertising budgets in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Online automotive media sites such as AutoTrader.com still offer both dealerships and manufacturers the best way to reach in-market car shoppers for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and marketing methods.”