Adding Up the Marketing Dollars
Credit Card Management (08/00) Vol. 13, No. 5 p.58; Bowen, Cathy; Fitzgerald, Kate

According to a survey by Competitive Media Reporting, Visa USA, MasterCard International, Discover Financial Services, and American Express increased their advertising spending 14 percent last year, to $872.8 million. Visa increased ad spending 19 percent to $268.3 million, American Express boosted spending 14 percent to $198.1 million, and MasterCard boosted spending 14 percent to $155.6 million. Much of the spending increase can be attributed to new ad-space competition from dot-com companies. Also, card companies are spending more on Internet advertising. For example, AmEx spent $4.8 million for the first time to support online spending. Those card associations that went on trial in June on antitrust charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice also increased spending for advertisements in an attempt to raise consumer trust levels. Individual card issuers continue to reach consumers through direct mail, telemarketing, and their branches. While increasing their overall spending, the major brands made many changes in advertising categories. Advertising for the Visa check card rose 72 percent in 1999, with the biggest share in network TV, followed by cable TV. AmEx doubled its spending on magazine ads, and radio ad spending jumped to nearly $8 million, up from $2.4 million a year earlier. Other top issuers kept ad spending flat or decreased it. Bank of America's spending dropped 10 percent and Chase Manhattan's shrank 43 percent.


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