GM Won't Buy Advertising for 2009 Academy Awards

U.S. auto maker General Motors has pulled out of its longtime sponsorship of the Academy Awards, one of the biggest annual events on broadcast television, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

General Motors Headquarters
General Motors Headquarters

The move, which comes amid a sharp downturn in automotive advertising on television, will leave Walt Disney's ABC without one of its biggest advertisers for Oscar night in February, the paper said.

The auto maker has long been one of the biggest spenders on the star-studded program, the paper said, adding that it paid out $13.5 million for advertising time on the broadcast this past February, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

"It is a great property, but it simply didn't fit into our plans for 2009," the Wall Street Journal cited a GM spokeswoman saying.

GM was not immediately available for comment.

Separately, GM is expected today to brief U.S. dealers on a major new sales promotion for its 100th anniversary on September 16.

On Thursday, GM is expect to announce investment plans for an Ohio plant.

GM's U.S. sales were down almost 18 percent through July. Executives and analysts have said industrywide sales have remained slack in August despite the recent easing in gas prices.

GM shares were the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Disney shares also declined.