Stop Bellyaching Over GM's Super Bowl Ads: Opinion


By Phil LeBeau, CNBC Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNBC) -- There's a puzzling line of complaints/digs being hurled at General Motors (GM) about its plan to run ads during the Super Bowl.

It goes something like this, "GM shouldn't be spending millions of dollars running spots during the Super Bowl because the company is just coming out of bankruptcy and should spend its money more prudently."

I've seen variations of this criticism online and heard it from several people at the Detroit Auto Show a few weeks ago.

Hey, GM bashers, get a clue.
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You may not think advertising during the Super Bowl is effective. You may think GM can get more bang for its buck by spending its advertising dollars in other ways. Those are legitimate points and worthy of a discussion. But that's not at the heart of the criticism surrounding GM running spots during the Super Bowl. These criticisms amount to people thinking GM should not make a big splash or spend large amounts of money because the company was bankrupt not long ago.

To quote a friend of mine, "What are they supposed to do at GM? Sit around and do nothing while other automakers eat their lunch?" Of course not.

If GM is going to thrive and grow, its executives need to spend money, be aggressive and apologize to no one for their strategy. This is what Joel Ewanick, the man who runs GM marketing, was brought in to do. Will spending millions during the Super Bowl pay off for GM? Who knows. But I don't see critics bashing Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW or the automakers also running spots during the big game.

What cracks me up is that when I asked one critic at the Detroit Auto Show whether he would advertise during the Super Bowl if he ran GM, his answer was, "Probably. Especially if it's a good spot that will get people talking."

-- Written by Phil LeBeau of CNBC

CNBC is a world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business information.

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