J.D. Power & Associates’ recently released 2011 Insurance Shopping Study attempts to quantify how the ongoing deluge of auto insurance advertising is impacting the market.

The report notes that four insurers—State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive—spent over $2.6 billion in marketing and advertising in 2010 alone. J.D. Power says the massive cash outlay, and seeming omnipresence of the GEICO gecko, Progressive’s Flo and Allstate’s Mayhem, has become a competitive necessity given the commoditization of the auto insurance market.

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