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GM returning to Super Bowl TV ads in 2014

A General Motors logo is seen on a Denali vehicle for sale at the GM dealership in Carlsbad, California January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A General Motors logo is seen on a Denali vehicle for sale at the GM dealership in Carlsbad, California January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - A year after General Motors Co decided to pass on advertising during the Super Bowl because commercial television time was too expensive, the automaker said on Friday it would return to the big game in February.

General Motors said it would advertise its Chevrolet brand during the February 2 National Football League Championship game, which will air in the United States on News Corp's Fox.

The 2014 Super Bowl will be a "great stage" for promoting the brand, which is launching 12 new vehicles by the end of 2014, according to Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet's global chief marketing officer.

The Super Bowl is typically one of the most-watched television events in the United States. An estimated 108.4 million people tuned in this year to watch the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers. It was the third-most watched TV program in U.S. history.

Fox is charging around $4 million for a 30-second spot, according to industry trade reports. Eighty-five percent of ad time for the Super Bowl has already been bought, USA Today reported on Thursday. That figure is expected to reach 90 percent by the time the NFL season opens September 5, according to the USA Today report. Fox could not be reached immediately for comment.

GM announced in May 2012 that it was not going to advertise during the 2013 Super Bowl, which was broadcast by CBS Corp. GM's former global marketing chief Joel Ewanick said at the time, "We simply can't justify the expense."

(Reporting by Joseph Lichterman in Detroit; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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