Ad Vets Sit Out Super Bowl in Tough Year

Amid layoffs, some worry pricey publicity could backfire
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2008 1:34 PM CST

(Newser) – The recession has loyal Super Bowl advertisers hesitating to buy spots, worried the $6 million-a-minute publicity could backfire. FedEx is concerned it looks “wrong” to drop the dollars while “asking employees to do more with less,” the Wall Street Journal reports. NBC sold most ad spots by early September, but hasn't filled the remaining eight since the economy really tanked.

“This much money on the line can be a negative reflection on a company,” says an ad exec. General Motors has decided to sit this game out altogether, as has GPS-maker Garmin. Others, like FedEx, are stalling in the hopes of getting discounted slots for their much-anticipated ads. Anheuser-Busch,, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola have already nabbed theirs.