Supply woes to weigh on holiday ad spending

If you're an auto company, a retailer, or any kind of consumer product maker - tis the season to be spending on advertising.

But not this year, if the much-talked about supply chain disruptions have anything to do with it. With vehicle supplies at a third of normal levels, The VP of General Motor's Cadillac Brand told Reuters there's no need to promote during the holiday season as it has in the past.

The auto industry, typically a big spender during this time of year, has already spent 10 percent less on digital ads in the months leading up to the holiday season, compared to the same period in 2019, according to data compiled for Reuters by digital marketing tracking firm Pathmatics.

The industry also spent 5% less on broadcast television commercials during that time frame compared with 2019, according to estimates from EDO.

But it's not just auto companies pulling back on ad dollars.

Department stores, including Macy's and Nordstrom's, spent 8% less on TV commercials.

Casual dining restaurants have slashed TV commercial spending by 56% compared to pre-health crisis levels, as dine-in restaurants struggle with a shortage of a different kind: labor.

There are, however, some deep-pocketed companies that are upping ad spending to focus on what they do have to sell.

Online ad spending at Amazon nearly doubled in the past three months compared to the same time a year ago.

And so did digital ad spending at Target, which has spent big to beef-up its online retail experience to better compete with Amazon.