Car ads or education for all?

[The uptick in posting volume lately comes from finishing off many unfinished drafts and the like. Here’s one example.]

The auto industry spent $15.79B to advertise in calendar year 2002 or $9.78B in the first half of 2003, and that’s just for the auto industry (not including tires, gasoline, etc.) — more than the next three largest ad-buying industries (finance, telecom, restaurants) combined. In fact, almost $2.3 billion was spent just by the automakers to advertise specific models of SUVs in 2002. The Big Three will spend over $6 billion on ads this year, out of a $130B total market.

Compare:
* Total Dept of Ed: $63 billion allocated
* Title I: $12.35B (grants for poor school districts)
* IDEA: $9.5B (grants for special ed)
* Head Start: $6.8B
* Annual cost of providing basic education access for all developing countries: $6 billion (UNICEF 1997)
* Reproductive health for all women in developing countries: $12 billion
* Basic health and nutrition in developing countries: $13 billion
* Cosmetics sales in USA, 1997: $8 billion
* Adult bicycle sales at bike shops in USA, 1998: $1.2 billion
* Overall bicycle market, including accessories and clothing in USA, 1998: $5.6 billion

Advertising, of course, is just a way to manufacture demand.

_Sources_
Ad spending: TNS/CMR Market Intelligence 2003, Keith Bradsher, _High and Mighty_
Federal budget: FY05 administration submitted budget
International needs/wants: UNDP Int’l Human Development Report 1999
Bicycle spending: Bicycle Retailer News

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