2009 Super Bowl broadcaster NBC isn’t in as bad of shape as Fox was in 2002 — which had 10% of its ads unsold just weeks before the game — but after seeing brisk sales during the first nine months of 2008, NBC still has eight Super Bowl ad slots to fill — just like it did in September.
The problem is that long-time advertisers aren’t renewing. General Motors won’t advertise this year and neither will Garmin. FedEx, which ran commercials during the last 12 Super Bowls, might not either.
FedEx management worries that it would look “wrong” to run a $3 million spot when its “asking employees to do more with less” a company executive told the WSJ. “Companies have to be mindful that jumping into the game can open them up to criticism,” he says.
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